Updated: Aug 1
Since this is my first time trying to write a blog, I'm going to keep it short and sweet. Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to read our story. ~ Wayne
First a little backstory, Caiden is the grandson of Eddie and Terry Call of Ventura, California. Eddie and I have been great friends for more than 50 years. He was our best man and I in turn was theirs. We couldn't ask for better friends. Their oldest daughter Jennifer is Caiden's mom.
Jennifer, who was 7 months pregnant, wasn't feeling well and taking the advice of a friend, visited her doctor. He immediately admitted her to the hospital and 5 days later Caiden was born.
Following Caiden's premature birth in 2010, my wife and I realized that God was asking us to form a mission to help parents with a premature infant. But of course being the humans that we are, at first we didn't pay attention. So God kept sending us hints and after about 6 months of nudges we got the message. I remember the event very well. We were on our deck talking when once again the topic of Caiden's premature birth surfaced. I started complaining that someone needed to help these families, why didn't a large charity, the government or someone else help them. Sharleen looked at me and quietly said "we should" and that was the start of Caiden's Hope Foundation. From that day forward, we haven't quit.
It took another 4-5 months of research, planning and the help of a wonderful IRS agent to allow us to receive our certification from the IRS as a 501(c)3 charitable organization. The financial help of our good friend Mike Peters came when he made the first donation of $100. Thanks to Mike we were able to open a bank account and started asking for community support.
The first year (really only October-December 2010) we raised a whopping $500 from friends that realized we needed their help. And with that $500 we helped 5 NICU families. The first family asked that we not use their name, so we won't, but we have been given permission to tell their story. Their precious baby girl was born premature, but she didn't survive and God took her home. We drove to a fund raiser to help off set the medical expenses and were blessed to be able to present them with a $100 check. After that we spent the remaining $400 on 4 other NICU families. Their names came to us from friends who knew the families needs.
$100 at a time doesn't sound like much when faced with hospital bills that can run into the millions, but it's what we can do and we've been told many times how much these families appreciate not only the money, but that someone they don't know is helping them and more importantly praying for them.
I also thought you might like to see a picture of Caiden today. He'll turn 10 in January, 2021.
Since that first donation and the first $100 given to a NICU family, Caiden's Hope Foundation has slowly grown. Through the help from friends, corporations and the community in general, we have assisted over 800 NICU families in all 50 states. If you visit our website at www.caidenshope.org, you'll be able to read some of their stories.
I would like to ask that you visit www.caidenshope.org and learn more about our mission to help NICU parents with a premature infant hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and if God moves you to action, to please make a donation via our PayPal site. Even the smallest donation can brighten the day of a NICU parent.
Look for another update on Caiden's Hope Foundation on Saturday, August 15, 2020