This is the third of a series of posts about Safe Home Safe’s CSR by Jake Murray, Vice President of Operations and leader of our employee-driven SafeHomeCARES initiative. Follow along our journey of building stronger communities.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we’re reminded to show our appreciation. While flowers usually do the job, we wanted to express our gratitude in another way.

That’s why SafeHomeCARES recently rallied Safe Home Safe employees in support of an amazing nonprofit that helps women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

A Partnership with March of Dimes

We recently teamed up with the Rhode Island Chapter of March of Dimes, which works to end premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality. Thanks to Kristen Tedeschi, our SafeHomeCARES March of Dimes Team Leader, for pulling the pieces together to make this collaboration happen.

This is an eye-opener: Premature birth is the number one killer of babies.

Here in Rhode Island, 1 out of every 9 babies is born prematurely. This is close to the national rate of 9.6%. More stats can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

The March of Dimes offers invaluable education, funds lifesaving research, and has programs like NICU Family Support, which provides peace of mind to families who are going through what can be a frightening and confusing experience.

Lacing Up Our Sneakers and Marching for Babies

On April 30, we hit the pavement for the RI March for Babies 2016, which took place at Colt State Park.

Our SafeHomeCARES team consisted of 35 employees who all wanted to make a difference. Leading up to the event, we performed grassroots fundraising to benefit the wonderful work that the March of Dimes does.

A Mission that Hits Home Here at Safe Home Safe

Coming together to do whatever we can to support healthy families brings smiles to our faces. And it’s especially meaningful when we focus on issues that have directly impacted our family members here at Safe Home Safe.

This happens to be the case when it comes to premature births, and in each case, the March of Dimes was there for them.

Take Billing Specialist Nichole Cardin, for instance. Her 20-month-old daughter, Alina May, was a little less than four pounds when she was born. “Babies need a voice, and we have to do whatever we can to build awareness,” says Nichole, who indicated that the March of Dimes put her mind at ease with free information and support.

Another example is our Accounts Solutions Representative Meghan Wood. “My daughter was born a month and a half early, at seven pounds with undeveloped lungs,” according to Meghan, who is extremely grateful for help she received from the NICU Family Support. “Emilee is now 9 years-old, and even though she’s still tiny, she’s a trooper!”

Last but not least, our Customer Service Assistant Manager Britt Carlson, who adds, “Being a first-time mother, there are so many things you worry about, but having a premature baby never crossed my mind. If I hadn’t received the support that I did, I really don’t know how we would’ve gotten through it all.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Britt’s daughter, Harper, turns two on May 12 and is “doing amazing with no health or developmental issues.”

We salute Nichole, Meghan, and Britt — as well as all moms near and far — for your courage and perseverance.

And a big thanks goes out to the March of Dimes for all that you do for moms everywhere!

We’re extremely grateful for the chance to get involved with this organization’s mission and walk alongside others who are as passionate about helping moms and improving the health of babies as we are.

For those interested in walking in next year’s event, mark your calendars. It takes place on April 29, and you can get a head start here. We look forward to marching with you!