Spring 2021: Newsletter
A note from our Executive Director
Here we are in the spring of 2021 and COVID is still an unwelcome guest that has overstayed their visit. We are all learning to live with COVID and the day we can stop wearing masks will seem peculiar. Life at the milk bank has become busier than normal. Demand for milk has remained high. We have had our challenges navigating the work load while being short staffed. With proper PPE and maintaining appropriate hygiene practices, we were able to dodge COVID in the milk bank, but we have had many staff out on isolation watch. Without the help from our volunteers, our staff have been kept extremely busy. We are so grateful for the generosity of our milk donors. The amount of milk we’ve received has been unprecedented, and has made us realize that we need much more freezer space! When we moved into this location 4 years ago, I would have never believed we could fill our big freezer! A new larger location may very well be on the horizon for the milk bank. We are all looking forward to the day we can offer tours, return of our volunteers and meet with our donors when they drop off their donations. A special thank you to our milk donors for their selflessness in time and milk donations, to our financial donors who have continued to support us and remove financial barriers so all babies in need can access safe pasteurized donor milk, and especially to our staff who have remained positive, hardworking and dedicated during this difficult time. -Jannette
Nursing Tips From an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
Did you know? If you are expecting a baby and your breast are leaking colostrum, collect these tiny drops with a syringe and freeze it (no needle involved –just barrel of the syringe). If your baby needs to be supplemented while in the hospital (or at home) you can bring these frozen syringes of liquid gold and use it for your own baby.
MOVE FOR MAMA 2021: Bereaved Mother's Day Run/Walk
To honor Bereaved Mother's Day (the mothers who have lost their children and the children they lost) we hosted virtual walk/run #moveformama. Thank you so much for all those that donated and participated. The final total raised was $9773.57!
All funds raised are for the NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank Community Care Fund, which goes directly to ensuring families can access milk for their baby. 100% of funds raised for community care are used to cover the cost of milk for families in need.
SHAW BIRDIES FOR KIDS PRESENTED BY ALTALINK
This year, we are once again proud to be a participating Charity for Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink. The Shaw Charity Classic aims to bring much needed dollars to local youth charities, while providing Calgary with a world-class professional sporting event accessible to families. It runs August 9 – August 15, 2021 at Canyon Meadows G&CC. All donations made to NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank from now until August 15th, 2021 will be made through the Birdies for Kids donation portal and will be matched up to 50%.
Shoutout to the Sherwood Park Elks
The Sherwood Park Elks continue to volunteer their time to pick up milk from our donors and deliver it to the Grey Nuns Hospital. With the support of Telus this has been such a helpful program for NorthernStar as well as our donors not having to make the trip to the hospital to deliver milk with their baby in tow.
NEW TEAM MEMBERS
Welcome to our new team members, Marija, Brenna, Hope and Robyn!
Marija - Lab Technician
Brenna- Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
Hope- Lab Technician (Summer Student)
Robyn- Lab Technician (Summer Student)
We are excited to announce the following, well deserved promotions to these two amazing ladies!
Taylor- Donor Services Manager
Kris- Lab Manager
Donor Profile: Gunner's Story
"I was working as an Obstetrics nurse in Northern Alberta when I first learnt about this program and I thought it was such an amazing gift to have human milk for these sick and premature babies. When I became a mother this Spring and I realized I had an oversupply of milk, it was something I was very grateful for. Becoming a milk donor was a way for me to give back and help out these babies or mothers who have been struggling with low milk supply and want to continue giving their babies human milk.
Thank you Northern Star Milk Bank for continuing to operate such a wonderful program!" -Gunner's Mom, January, 2021.