Friday, February 27, 2009

A worthwhile cause

I don't usually broadcast this information but I thought there might be others out there who are interested. At one of the La Leche meetings I was at, one of the mothers was asking if anyone knew anything about the International Breast milk Project because she was thinking about joining. We had a lively debate on the theory and background of the organization and I decided I wanted to know more...

As any new mom knows it can be emotionally traumatic to go back to work. The standard questions: who's going to watch my baby, what am I going to feed my baby...etc. After fully committing to try to do no formula with Emma and struggling to make sure I had enough milk to send each day, I decided I'd be more prepared with Bobby. I started pumping earlier, I wasn't gone on any business trips, and I didn't have to do the radioactive iodine test where I had to pump and dump with Emma. And all of a sudden, I had massive amounts of milk in the freezer and we had no space for meat or vegetables.
"What are you going to do with all that milk?" Will kept asking me. "It's taking up too much space."
Knowing how much effort I put into collecting the milk I didn't have the heart to just throw it away. And so I became a milk donor. If you have any free time, just go check the site out. I'm not the crazy, feed other people's kids kind of person but it sure beat dumping the liquid gold down the drain.

The following is an email I received recently:

I am an International Breast Milk Project donor and the founder of this very special organization. Tonight I have important news that I wanted you to hear firsthand from me. It’s late, my one and three-year old girls are finally asleep, and I stayed up this evening to share this news with you. I founded IBMP for infants like “Baby S.” He was abandoned on the doorsteps of a hospital in South Africa. He was less than 2 months of age and weighed less than 6 lbs. He was HIV-positive, malnourished, infected with scabies, and in respiratory distress. He was immediately given donor breast milk and began to thrive.
Today, I am pleased to share that he is a rambunctious, happy, and healthy little toddler. He has recently been adopted by a loving family and is all geared up to start pre-school soon.Thank you for being among a very special group of moms making a difference for Baby S. and hundreds of other babies just like him, in a way that only a mother can – by providing your life-giving breast milk.The Big Challenge: Save the Breast Milk, Save the World
In 2009, we are on par to send over 25,000 bottles of donor breast milk to infants like Baby S. in South Africa, even more than we did last year. That is enough milk to feed 166 babies exclusive breast milk for 1 month. But that is just a start. There are so many more babies that need our help.
Just three years ago, when I first learned of Baby S., we had 1 milk donor – me. Today, we have grown to nearly 600 applicants per month. And due to such an outpouring of support, we have grown faster than we can keep up with. We will not be able to accommodate the generosity of all of the moms who want to join us in donating this precious gift. Unless we act now. Starting this week, moms may have to wait to donate or won’t be able to donate at all. I am working hard to find additional milk processing partners so that moms with overflowing freezers are not turned away while there are infants like Baby S. who need it to survive.
And it starts right here, right now, with you and me. I have never before reached out to you, our donors, for support, but today I’m taking the bold step of inviting you to join me in continuing our fight to nourish infants like Baby S., who are being left behind by as their mothers are dying of AIDS. Click here to make a financial donation now.Today, I invite you to support International Breast Milk Project and all of the infants like Baby S., who are in urgent need of donor breast milk. I invite you to make a financial contribution on our website or on Facebook, to help us cover the costs to collect and process milk from up to 400 moms per year who may be turned away. As soon as I learned of this urgent situation, I knew the first people I had tell were each of you. And as an IBMP donor, and I know you agree, we can’t let infants like Baby S. be without when we have exactly what they need.Our Board of Directors and I have set a goal to raise $160,000 in 90 days. $160,000 will help us cover the costs for an additional 400 moms to donate milk, the estimated number of moms who will be turned away this year if we don’t act fast. But, if we join together, as we have done in the past to provide milk, I think it will take us less than a week. That is how confident I am in us. I know how determined a mom with extra breast milk can be.Your contribution of just $16 will help us cover the average cost in the US for processing a 4-ounce bottle of breast milk. Or a $400 contribution will help us cover the cost of donation process for a new mom, from coolers on her doorstep to milk arrival in Africa. Our goal is to welcome as many donors as quickly as possible to make contributions of $16, $32, $64, $128, $400 or more so that moms are not turned away and infants in Africa don't have to wait a day longer for life-giving milk. Click here to Contribute Now.
And help us spread the word:Forward this email and invite your friends and family to join you in supporting International Breast Milk Project.
Post this message on your blog. Join our IBMP Facebook Cause and invite your friends to do the same. Follow us on Twitter. Sign up to volunteer. Thank you again for joining me today in making a financial contribution. I will keep you updated on our goals in the coming days. We are tracking our success on our homepage at You can also read our press release there and find out additional details.
In closing, I have a gift for you. World-renowned author Melissa Faye Green, who wrote the book that inspired this organization, recently sent me these warm thoughts to pass on to each of you. She wrote:
“What more intimate, sweet, and quiet moments are there in life than the hours spent nestled with your baby? And yet you all have found a way to entwine those secret precious times with a phenomenal global reach. From the other side of the world, you help nurture the babies of sick women. You ally yourselves with the world's mothers. You say, in effect, ‘I have been blessed with health, nutritious food, clean water, and education; while, through no fault of your own, you have been cursed with poverty and sickness. But we are both mothers. In love for my children, and in acknowledgement of the love you feel for your children, let me share this life-giving milk.’”
With gratitude for your generosity,
Jill Youse
Founder and Executive Director
International Breast Milk Projecthttp://www.breastmilkproject.orgGive Milk. Give Life. Give Hope.507-261-3221Find us on Facebook:

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