I’m so excited to start year 2 of Newbie Tubie Care Packages (NTCP), after such a successful first year, I can only imagine what 2019 is going to bring. As we begin this year, I want to update you on our progress & how you can continue to help us make this project possible.
We just had a feature in my local paper, and I’m so excited to have had that opportunity! Newbie Tubies isn’t just about packages, it’s about bringing together tubies new and “old,” and to create a space where we can learn from one another and create friendships. Newbie Tubies is also aimed towards the caregivers and loved ones of tubies or spoonies, we want to support everyone as much as we can, in any way we can, for as long as that person is around, tubie or caretaker.
To keep this project up and running I have worked endlessly to find people willing to donate to this cause, or even better, others who are as passionate as I am and are ready to be part of the NEWBIE TUBIE TEAM, and though I got turned down or ignored more times than I can count, I did find a few ladies who are a true part of the team and help whenever they can.
Most of my donors are or were sick themselves or caretakers, and that’s why they make items like tubie pads and thermo-bags for IV fluids, etc. Our donors know the importance of this project, and I am continually amazed at the empathy and support I have gotten from these individuals who I have never “met.”
That said, my 3 tubie donors and 1 heating pad donor, as incredible as they are, they’re also trying to make money from their products, many to pay medical bills. I can’t ask 4 women to donate enough for over 100 packages!
I am always looking for more individuals or groups of people who feel inclined to join Newbie Tubies and the VIP donor program, which means I do everything I can to send people in the direction of the shops who donate to us, and I post on all platforms (FB, IG, blog, twitter, in boxes, etc.) both to thank our donors, but also to “pay it forward” in the way of sending people their way.
If you ‘re interested in being involved but don’t know how to sew or aren’t crafty, I always have tasks I could use help with. We want to include as many people as we can, both on the team behind the scenes, but also for the members of our program/follow our accounts to continue to learn through blog posts and tip lists while also having a chance to interact with others who are also going through this journey.
So, I’m going to share below some of the things we need in order to keep Newbie Tubies as active as I hope to.
WAYS AND RESOURCES FOR GETTING INVOLVED:
DONATIONS: what we need and how you can find it
I have multiple lists on amazon, etsy, and simply items you can find at the dollar store or the mini-item aisle at walmart while you’re grocery shopping! I try to make it very easy.
You can also purchase products like art work and vinyl products that I make but put all profits back into the project – every sale helps!!
We also have guides and lists for what we use and where you can find it! It can be as simple as buying some extra chapstick or germ-x when you’re shopping for yourself.
Link for Sponsoring a book for our “littlest tubies” : http://a.co/1yuuZO2
Etsy link: https://www.etsy.com/people/rsb4fc?ref=hdr
Link for “Tubie Shopping Guide”/ our shopping list: https://positivelyrachel.com/category/newbie-tubies/
I have so many projects I’d love to do, but I myself am a tubie and a quite sick one at that, but I do all the packing of boxes with the help of two fabulous ladies who come over almost every week to help, and from my Mom, who is also passionate about this subject. When I started the project, I never could have imagined that I would send out over 100 boxes in just a year! Because of how much NTCP grew, and how quickly, I can use help from anyone who feels called or inclined to be involved.
Specifics: I need some individuals who are blessed with an understanding of technology, something I lack. A few examples:
- Etsy! Anyone up for helping me get my page set up? All profits from my sales go towards NTCP, so I would love to sell more, but I’m struggling with the technological aspect of that goal.
- Google Drive – I use google for most records and organizational guides/notes/etc. If you know a lot about that, that would be beneficial!
- Graphic design and artistic minds
- Social media help; posting, advertising, sharing, interacting – I would LOVE for our IG page to be more interactive, people commenting, sharing, getting to know one another, but I don’t do a great job keeping up with it and making it happen
- Keeping track of boxes; who got them, who didn’t, how many we do, etc.
- Finances and Inventory – track how many packagegs we send out but also what donations we get- money or product, as well as my own sales that go towards it, and the amount I end up spending out of pocket to complete packages
OUTREACH – looking for new donors, sharing posts, and watching for sales we would be interested in.
a. Find other blogs, pages, or articles that relate, we share them or guest post to spread awareness and find new people with their own experiences that we can learn from!
b. Watch for sales, giveaways, and new shops for donating as well as for individuals who may have extra tubes we could use for tubie animals-– often kids who don’t need them and had an extra gtube at home, and it is no longer needed, etc.
Your own PRODUCTS, what do you make? (if anything)- like tubie pads, tubie clips, other medical items, or any other “carepackage” items like bath salts, lotions, soaps, etc., we would love to hear from you!
1.Tubie pads/clips/go bags
- Feed Backpacks – converting kids backpacks or adult backpacks to hold tube feeds, pumps, and such.
- Tubie Friends: stuffed animals with tubes for little kids – two part project…
- Finding the tubes through hospitals, facebook, and contacting the manufacturers and seeing if they would donate any sterile tubes but ones that are either expired or have defects that make them unusable—explain what we are doing and see if they’ll send us tubes- especially button tubes of any kind, but we take anything we can get! (g, gj,j tubes more than NJ/NG.)
- Making them! Do you make these or know you can? That could be another upcoming thing based on donations/tubes we can acquire.
There are so many ways you can help this project, just sharing it and telling others about it is helpful. We are looking not for more applications – we get countless applications – but for awareness and depth and support from the “normal” world. The goal is to make this terrible thing into something slightly more tolerable through creating resources and opportunities to be yourself and feel what you need to feel, but also to learn and be prepared for all that could come your way ; I work hard to create a resource that gives you so much more than doctors or healthy individuals can.
Happy Feeding Tube Awareness Week and thank you for being inclined to read and learn about this fabulous project!