Lend A Hand Up’s main goal is to partner with organizations and community members to help families in medical crisis.

Since their inception in 2008, they have, with the help of caring community members, raised more than $14 million to help more than 460 families.

The Ramirez family is one of the latest to be impacted through Lend A Hand Up.

A family impacted

In the summer of last year, Brooke and Rick Ramirez found out that they were expecting twins. They were “over the moon” with excitement.

But, at just 20 weeks, doctors began to notice some slight abnormalities in the pregnancy. Brooke was placed on modified bed-rest to help her relax and was asked to stop working. The hope was that these measures, along with some others, would prevent early labor. By week 22 though, Brooke was already experiencing contractions.

“If they did not stop the labor, the babies only had a six percent chance of surviving” Brooke said.

Twins reaching to hold hands

Twins at birth

The doctors began giving Brooke magnesium sulfate to slow the contractions. Just two days after the magnesium treatment, Brooke’s contractions began again. Doctors gave her a different medication which worked well, but once again, shortly after, Brooke’s contractions resumed.

 “These babies are coming today”

At 23 weeks and four days, there was nothing left for the doctors to do. The babies were coming.

Baby Penelope was born at 10:37am followed by baby Noah at 10:39am. Both were around one and a half pounds.

This was just the beginning of what would be some long months ahead for the Ramirez family.

Penolope and Noah experienced days of triumph and days where they struggled to stay alive. Brooke and Rick could do little but pray and wait for the day their babies could come home.

Lending a hand up

The Ramirez family with their Lend A Hand Up check

During this time, Brooke’s mother applied for Lend A Hand Up boost funding to support an online campaign to raise financial help for this young family. After her application was approved, the Ramirez family fundraiser became the first in Lend A Hand Up’s history to be strictly online, without a benefit.

The online fundraiser was a big success! Donations made by friends, family, and community members were uplifted through Lend A Hand Up boost funding. The financial relief gave Brooke and Rick the time to attend to what really matters, Penelope and Noah.

“Lend A Hand Up allowed us to focus on our children by assisting with medical expenses. We appreciate it so much,” said Brooke.

The Ramirez family today

After months of surgeries, late nights and early mornings, fear, and what felt like endless waiting and anticipation, Brooke and Rick were finally able to bring Noah and Penelope home in April of this year. The family of four is healthy and happy to be together under one roof.

Penelope and Noah photoshoot – Taylor Jane Photography

Purpose to Impact

Lend A Hand Up is able to provide its uplifting effect because it is not like traditional fundraising platforms.

For starters, Lend A Hand Up offers guidance on how to effectively fundraise. They partner with caring people who coordinate fundraising campaigns for families in medical crisis.

They also provide boost funding which means that “for every $500 raised, Lend A Hand Up provides a $100 BOOST (up to $5,000)”. What many people don’t realize is that funding for boost gifts is initiated by community members who strongly believe in Lend A Hand Up’s purpose.

Last but not least, donating through Lend A Hand Up involves no administrative fees so 100% of the gifts go directly to the family. This is possible because Dakota Medical Foundation covers all administrative costs.

The Ramirez family and their story is just one instance where Lend A Hand Up impacted a family in medical crisis. 365 days a year, Lend A Hand Up provides opportunities for people to make contributions to help local families. Gifts may be directed to help a specific family or to the program itself to boost help for many families.

For more information about current fundraisers or how to apply to begin your own fundraiser for someone in need, visit Lend A Hand Up.

Stay tuned for another nonprofit story next week, and remember to live with purpose!

Together, we can become the most generous region on the planet.





Derek Hatzenbuhler

Author Derek Hatzenbuhler

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