Posted By: Camila Orti
St. Elizabeth's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is getting in the Valentine's Day spirit.
From chocolate candies to photographs and personal messages, the group 'Parents Reaching Out' delivered Valentine's Day bags to families in St. E's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These volunteers are all parents who know first hand the ups and downs of having a premature baby.
"All of the NICU graduates sent in valentines for the current babies so that's always fun to show the love that way," PRO volunteer Sarah Hartung said.
Spreading love is part of the group's mission. PRO is dedicated to being a support system to parents with babies in the NICU.
"Just knowing someone else has been there through a similar journey is comforting in itself," Hartung said.
The gesture came as a pleasant surprise for couple Michelle Vasquez and Raul Hernandez.
"It was nice to know there are people looking out for us even though they don't have to be," Hernandez said.
The young couple have a 26–week old son in the NICU. They say they'll be spending plenty of time at the hospital.
"We're really young and this is a lot for us and it's nice to have the reassurance that everything will be okay," Vasquez said.
Volunteer Melissa Nickolaus agrees, and says she's happy to provide the support.
"It was wonderful to see how they got excited, just help make the day, break up the day a little bit," Nickolaus said.
Along with the couple dozen treat bags, the volunteers handed out advise and words of encouragement.
"You're not going to live here forever, they do get bigger and stronger, grow up and go home," Nickolaus said.
For more information on PRO, click here.