Special Delivery: Diaper donations raise money for maternity wards

Hospital Family Birthing Centres have a new way to save costs or fundraise for their department. Over the past year, nursing managers from six different hospitals partnered with Hospital Connection to create a welcome package for new parents. But these are not any ordinary welcome packages; they have been donated to each hospital, free of charge.  That’s right – they cost the hospitals nothing.

Each nursing manager dictated which products they wanted to include and what the package looked like.

The package was ultimately made up of a 24-count pack of diapers with a gift voucher for another free 36-count pack of diapers. With a total value of $25 before taxes, some hospitals decided to provide the package to new parents in exchange for a $5 donation, which raised approximately $4000 over a four-month period.

Some hospitals, such as Southlake Regional Health Centre, have been providing the packages to new parents at as a way to help new families and build stronger relationships with their patients and community. Pat Hill, Registered Nurse and Lactaction Consultant with the Maternal Child Program at Southlake states, “Parents are thrilled to receive the package during this important time in their lives. It provides them with some of the items they might find they need to get through those first few hours and days with a new baby.”

Now, you may be asking yourself, who exactly is Hospital Connection? Hospital Connection has been founded based on the prior success of creating these welcome packages to help new parents and support the hospital. They don’t represent any brands or products; rather they assist hospitals in their fundraising efforts. The goal? To become the largest donor and fundraiser for maternal newborn programs in Canada. Paul Kalra, founder of Hospital Connection, explains, “We wanted to ensure new parents receive everything they need. We also wanted to ensure hospitals don’t have to pay for it but could instead use this as an opportunity to fundraise. And so Hospital Connection was established to connect hospital, patients, and brands.”  The total value of products donated to hospitals through the brands to date is  just over $116,000. That doesn’t include the money hospitals have raised if they choose to ask for a donation from patients in return for the package.

So how exactly does the program work? Hospital Connection works with companies who donate products (and pay a fee) to provide some funding to Hospital Connection to cover associated costs. Again, in working closely with each hospital, it is up to them to approve which companies are allowed to participate.

There are currently six participating hospitals that have helped establish the initiative, some of which include; Markham Stouffville Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto, Humber River Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, and Windsor Regional Hospital. As Ron Foster, Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications and Philanthropy at Windsor Regional Hospital describes, “Windsor Regional Hospital is pleased to be working with Hospital Connection in making a New Mom package available to new mothers. Providing affordable access to such an excellent product is one more way the Hospital can support parents following the delivery of a child. Many thanks to Hospital Connection for this successful partnership.”

What is next for the program? Hospital Connection is looking to enlist more hospital maternal newborn programs across Canada in the program, while continuing to improve and grow the welcome package. Interested in how the program can help your hospital? Contact Paul Kalra at paulkalra@hospitalconnection.ca for more details.