stolen from Bethany's blog in order to get the word out:
It's happening at St. V's on 8/3/10. The drive is the first step in Portland getting it's own milk bank and they're looking for donors.
Donors need to be prescreened through Mother's Milk Bank in Colorado (click here for info). They will send a packet with all the stuff to get screened. The milk is collected all over Portland (check out Northwest Mothers Milk Bank for collection sites). I'm actually helping the volunteers at St Vincent for this! Once the blood tests are done, pumped and frozen human milk is then taken and left with one of the donor areas here. They hospitals will then ship to Denver, where the milk is pasteurized and sent all over. Much of the milk from here is sent back. All the milk goes towards NICU babies. The moms usually don't have any of their own milk or colostrum yet, so the babes will get donated breast milk which encourages and promotes healthy growth much better than formula. (I do realize I'm preaching to the choir here.) I'm very pro-donation and love helping these guys out. The Fed Ex driver who picks up the boxes of donated milk feels very connected and is his favorite part of his day.
Even if your mamas can't be pre-screened in time for the milk drive on August 3, St Vincent's accepts donors every Tuesday. Kimberly Bepler is in charge of it here and her number is: 503.216.6455.
One story that is very touching and inspirational:
A mom recently lost her baby. She pumped for a while and had several ounces of colostrum that she donated to the bank. The bank was very excited as this is super and nothing they ever get donated. Yet, tinged with sadness as the reason was the loss of a sweet angel-baby. It breaks my heart to think of losing a baby, yet this mom thought of all the good she could do with what she had.
Thanks for passing this on. All those small and fragile angels hanging on in the NICU make me want to do what I can to help them.
If you are a nursing mom, then please seriously consider donating some of your milk to the babies who are unable to get any from their own mothers.