By Heather Barrow
Serving as both the Executive Director and Board Chair since founding High Risk Hope (HRH) in 2011, it has been my dream to find the perfect person to take over as Executive Director. HRH has grown tremendously during the past six and a half years, from serving only one hospital and a few hundred patients to serving six hospitals (with several new ones in the works) and 2,500 patients every year. We have raised over $1.25 million and helped 6,500 families in crisis thanks to the support of our loyal donors.
One of the families HRH supported in 2014 is the Nicholas Family. Bailey Nicholas was pregnant with twins when she was admitted to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and placed on hospital bedrest for preeclampsia, where she received a HRH Bed Rest Basket. After four weeks in the hospital, a spike in blood pressure caused her to have Henry and Nora six weeks early. The babies spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, where they each received a HRH NICU Napsack. Once their entire family was healthy and home, Bailey began volunteering at HRH, delivering bags to patients and helping with various fundraising initiatives.
I was so impressed with Bailey’s fundraising, nonprofit leadership skills and passion for HRH, that I asked her to join our team in 2015 to oversee fundraising and special events. She was a stay at home mom with her twins at the time, and not in the market for a job. Thankfully, Bailey accepted because it was her dream to work for the organization that helped her family during their crisis.
Bailey has exceeded my expectations ever since. She is hard working, creative, intelligent,
driven, honest, caring and truly has our HRH families’ best interests at heart. She is willing to try anything (Belly Flop For Babies) to elevate HRH’s presence in the community, She sets high but attainable goals for herself, the HRH team, and ensures we exceed them. Bailey has never met a stranger and sees every interaction with another person as a chance to tell them about the wonderful things we are doing at HRH. She has developed strong relationships with HRH hospital partners, with several of them inviting her to serve on hospital committees.
All of these traits combined convinced me that I had finally found the person I could trust with my third baby, HRH. Earlier this year I spoke with Bailey about what I hoped would be her future as the Executive Director of HRH. She didn’t hesitate in accepting the challenge and has worked hard every day during our transition to prove that she is exactly the leader I hoped she would be in this role.
In 2011, never in my wildest dreams did I foresee HRH growing to the organization it is today. Fast-forward to 2017 and I can dream much bigger because I now know what the High Risk Hope family is capable of. Bailey’s leadership of our A-team will enable HRH to reach thousands more families in the future. As Chairman of the HRH Board, I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish now that Bailey will wear my purple shoes.