Eli's Hope

Eli’s Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization in the Chicagoland area that seeks to bring hope to families with a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Whether you are a parent of a NICU baby, a friend, or a potential volunteer or financial supporter, please feel free to explore our entire site.  Our prayer is that you will be touched by the stories, and moved into action.

Eli's Hope

Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Overview

Eli’s Hope was founded in 2011, but the idea was born with Eli in 2005.  At 30 weeks gestation and weighing only 3 pounds, Eli entered the world.  His early arrival was due to a placental abruption and Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM).  He spent 5 weeks in 2 different Neonatal Intensive Care Units.  Every moment was a challenge as his tiny body fought to survive.  But after just a few days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it was obvious that our little guy was a fighter.  He got to go home earlier than expected (at 35 weeks gestation), as the doctors had predicted that he might have to stay in the hospital until his due date.  Upon going home he spent another 5 weeks on supplemental oxygen and dealt with acid reflux for the next year.  He also struggled with (and still does) some sensory issues relating to his prematurity.
We lived in Colorado at the time of Eli’s birth (over a thousand miles away from our families), and we already had a 15-month-old daughter at home.  Eli went through his NICU journey in two good hospitals. Our parents were able to visit us and help out for a while, and we even had a wonderful church family to support us. But something was missing – we didn’t know anyone who had had a preemie before.  There was no one nearby that we could swap stories with, or ask questions of.  No one told us about things like Kangaroo Care or Infant Massage.  Our NICU experience felt like walking around in a pitch-black room that we’d never been in before.  Inside that room I could hear my son crying, but I wasn’t able to find him in the darkness. My personal faith was shaken, and I sank into a deep depression while also struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It took me several years to come out of my depression.  Ultimately, it is my faith and trust in God that has gotten me through.

Nine years later, Eli is a strong, healthy little boy with a ton of energy!  His life is truly a miracle, which can only be attributed to a mighty and loving God putting His hand on Eli and working through those wonderful NICU doctors and nurses.  And as for myself, I feel like I am finally healing from the experience — the creation of Eli’s Hope being a part of that process.

Because of our own personal experience, we at Eli’s Hope are on a mission to share the love and hope we received from Jesus Christ with the families of NICU babies. We don’t want NICU parents to experience the feelings of lostness and isolation that we felt. We strive to provide hope in the midst of sorrow, and peace in the midst of chaos. Because even if you have family nearby,good health insurance, and a great hospital… many NICU families are still missing the support they need to make it through, without feeling like they’re drowning.

Having a child in the NICU is never an experience that anyone is prepared for. And the long-term effects of being born early or sick can linger for years. Eli’s Hope is here to help make the rough places smooth for NICU families, only by the grace of God.

Because of our foundational belief in Jesus Christ, the mission of Eli’s Hope is to bring hope to families who have a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by meeting some of their practical needs, providing emotional support, and offering spiritual resources.

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Services we provide

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Support

Eli’s Hope helps fragile families find the emotional support they need to thrive.

NICU Support Gift Bags
We intend for every NICU family in our partnered hospitals to receive one of our NICU Gift Bags.  Each bag contains practical items that will be helpful and encouraging during their NICU stay.

Bereavement Services
We can provide special Bereavement Gift Bags when a NICU family experiences a loss.  The items included in these bags provide mementos that will help the family move through the grieving process.  In addition, we can sometimes offer one-time financial gifts to help needy families cover any funeral expenses.

Home from the NICU Transitioning
We can sometimes provide Home Transitioning support for families in need, which may include baby items, clothes, and/or gift cards.

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Resources

Hundreds of families with children in Chicagoland NICUs will be reached through volunteer-led chapters to comfort them, encourage them, and point them to Christ.  Genuine relationships will be built with these families, and we will be known for our compassion and love.
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Advocacy

Eli’s Hope has active chapters in numerous hospitals in the Chicagoland area.

One of the most critical components of Eli’s Hope is our volunteer base.  There are many opportunities to serve, including filling gift bags, working at outreach events, and helping with fundraisers.  If you are interested in volunteering with one of our current chapters, please Contact Us.  You can also take a look at our Calendar to see what events are scheduled and click here to find out what hospitals we are already serving in.
Also, Eli’s Hope is always interested in reaching out to more Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the Chicago area.  If you are interested in becoming a Chapter Coordinator at your local NICU, please use our Contact Us page to receive more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

In this section, you will find questions that are frequently asked about Eli’s Hope. If you have a question about Eli’s Hope, their mission, or want to know more, please feel free to contact Preemie Parent Alliance and we will make sure your question is answered promptly.

What kind of families do you work with?
Eli’s Hope works with the most fragile of families – those who have experienced a premature birth.

What year were you established?
Eli’s Hope was founded in 2011, but the idea was born with Eli in 2005.

What is your organization classification?
We are a non-profit organization

What is the geographical reach of your organization?
Eli’s Hope supports families in our local Chiagoland area.

Contact Us

Drop us a line anytime, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
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