9 Amazing Ways To Help Our Family
Hello, friends and family (and strangers who are like friends because if you're here wanting to help us, you're now a friend)! This is a very tough post because it just feels crazy to be asking for help when so many people need it, but I am so appreciative of people who have already shown incredible kindness to us these past few weeks (it's only been a few weeks?!?!).
Pregnancy is wild. Pregnancy during a pandemic is lonely. Pregnancy during a pandemic and having to undergo fetal surgery in another state, stay for months, and deliver your baby there as well....now I just have no word for that.
Over the next 4 months, our little family will be relocating to Texas for our fetoscopic surgery, recovery, monitoring, delivery (followed by more recovery I'm sure), and then finally, we will come home and be reunited as a family of 5. As you can imagine, the costs are going to add up quickly and we are looking for any financial support people are able to provide.
We have been so blessed with so many incredible offers to help, yet I never, ever, want to inconvenience anyone, so I wanted to create different options so people can choose what kind of help they would like to provide! These are mostly financial options, but honestly, simple prayers, positive vibes, and well wishes are more than enough for us.
As of now, some of the expenses we know we will have are:
Housing costs (both, our mortgage in Washington and our rental in Texas)
Everyday living costs back home (insurance, subscriptions, utilities etc.)
Since I will be out of work and not able to shoot photos for people until my wedding season begins in June, my income is not even an option anymore (the cons of being an entrepreneur without a steady paycheck). These options below will contribute greatly to our expenses over the next few months and help us stay afloat during this unique pregnancy and experience. We are so grateful however you are able to help.
GoFundMe. This option is most popular because it's an easy way to contribute to our cause using many different forms of payment. This is also a great way to know exactly where your money is going! If you want to contribute to our living/relocation expenses, this is a great place to do that! They do take a small cut of the donation (which is why I offer other methods below) but it's an easy way to donate! Plus, it's great to see what our goal is and how much we need to cover living expenses. Check out our GoFundMe here!
Venmo. One way to contribute financially is to donate directly to our Venmo accounts. This is great if you were like "Bailey, get yourself a glass of champagne as soon as you give birth" or something similar ;). This option requires you to have a Venmo account set up, but if you are familiar with this app, it's a great way to help. My Venmo is @bailey-stenson and Kellen's is @kellengordon
Gift Cards. Some people would prefer to send support in the form of a gift card, which is fantastic! We have a Costco near our short term rental and I know we will be spending some time there, especially when the girls come down to live with us. Other places I am sure we will frequent include: Amazon, Target, etc. but do not feel like this is the route you must go! i am not sure how this is done but I suppose email is best: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meal Train. We will be living in a new state, no family nearby, and I will be recovering from surgery while still growing a tiny human and caring for twin toddlers. Luckily, family will fly in and out as they are able to help us care for the girls, and I assume will help with meals. However, when we come home in May/June, we will most likely be in a weird transition mode and are open to accepting any kind of freezer meal opportunities, etc. We have a huge freezer we can store meals in, so we appreciate anything people have to offer. No dietary restrictions but Kellen hates peanut butter like a weirdo. We will officially set up a calendar as we get closer to coming home!
Etsy. If you are looking to support us but also get something from it, my Etsy shop is full of downloadable items (and I will continue to add more) that are great for adults and kids! In my downtime, I plan to create more printables so make sure to favorite the shop and to follow along on Instagram @bw.haze.co to see all of the newest releases!
Photo Albums. If you have ever said to yourself "man, I wish I had a photo album from ______ event, but I just don't have the time to create one", well look no further! I offer high-quality albums from my professional printer (like, these albums are unreal) OR I can simply create your album for YOUR favorite album printer for a flat designer fee. I recommend the first option for professional photoshoots, because the albums are just unreal, but I also have budget-friendly recommendations I can make that won't break the bank.
Newborn Essentials. We may need help gathering essentials for our first month back home with our little guy as we transition from a huge life-changing event. Things like diapers, wipes, and baby boy/gender-neutral clothing (hand-me-downs are totally welcome) are a few of the things I can think of. We have almost everything we need from our girls but there are a couple of items we put together on our registry that we would love to have lined up for our return.
Poshmark. If you are looking for any women's clothing items, I am selling my gently used clothing and accessories on my Poshmark account! I am slowly adding more items as I have downtime, but it's a great way to support and also spruce up your closet! Check out my closet here!
If you aren't able to support financially, but still want to contribute, the best ways to do that are:
Prayers, positive thoughts, good vibes, etc. all are free and welcome!
Share our story and this blog post on your social media pages. Maybe someone out there wants to contribute to a stranger!
Message me with any fundraiser ideas you may have. Bake sales, car washes, etc :)
Overall, this post was meant to give people ideas on ways they can help without shouting it all from the rooftops! We feel the love from so many people and are so grateful to be in a position where we can set something like this up. We are thankful we get to have this surgery and appreciate all of the ways people are offering to alleviate any stresses along the way!
(Kellen, Bailey, Willa, Hazel, and McLane)