Amelia was born and raised in Tampa, Fla. She attended St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School before moving on to H.B. Plant High School. Her love for volunteering started in high school as she helped at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Easter Seals. After graduating from high school, she attended The University of Alabama and received her BA in public relations. While attending college, she volunteered at the preschool at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. After graduating this past May, she completed a marketing internship with Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.
Amelia began volunteering with High Risk Hope in August while completing her internship. She could be found in the office completing different task, such as helping in the stock room or editing different print materials. She helped with the latest Tot Trot in our High Risk Hope tent.
Amelia is excited about her new position and the opportunity to reach out into the community and find more people to be involved with High Risk Hope’s great mission.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Bailey attended Wake Forest University where she met her husband and Tampa-native, Richard. Bailey has worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector in the Tampa Bay Area since 2006, most recently as the Membership and Marketing Coordinator at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. She has also worked for the Tampa General Hospital Foundation and the Dali Museum, as well as volunteered with The Straz Center for the Performing Arts and The Junior League of Tampa. She holds her BA in Religion from Wake Forest University and her MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.
Bailey was introduced to High Risk Hope when on bed rest at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital while pregnant with her twins. After doctors successfully halted her pre-term labor at 28 weeks, she remained at SJWH for four weeks on hospital bed rest. Her twins were born just shy of 35 weeks, delivered due to severe preeclampsia. Following a two week stay in the NICU, twins Henry and Nora came home healthy. Bailey notes that, “High Risk Hope supported me throughout my pregnancy and NICU stay, inspiring me to become a volunteer delivering Bed Rest Baskets and NICU Napsacks. During my time volunteering with High Risk Hope, I was continually impressed by the organization’s unique support of women on hospital bed rest and its passionate volunteers and donors.”
Bailey is thrilled about the opportunity to join this inspiring organization and even more excited to take an integral role in helping High Risk Hope expand its event and fundraising efforts in order to reach more families in crisis.
By Heather Barrow
Last night I ended my umpteenth flood day watching NBC Nightly news where I was surprised to hear Lester Holt talk about Tampa. The report focused Tampa Bay, and the surrounding communities, facing a record weekend of rain and flooding ending with Mayor Buckhorn saying “Can we fix it, no? All the money in the world would not fix this problem.”
Not exactly the vote of confidence I was hoping to hear about future flooding and Tampa’s 100+ year-old storm water drainage system. What the report did not show was that flooding is nothing new to our waterlogged residents. If you live in Tampa, you know it doesn’t take record rainfall to flood our streets. In fact, just one month ago, we faced heavy flooding after a couple hours of rain. With no warning, most of us tried to get home from work, realizing quickly there was not one safe route, including our go-to streets that don’t normally flood. While this list could go on for days, here are my top three reasons why enough is enough with Tampa flooding.
1. Access to hospitals – While this generation certainly was not involved in the decision to build one of Tampa’s top hospitals on a low-lying man-made island with access only by one bridge prone to flooding, we have to deal with the repercussions. It is no secret that access to Tampa General Hospital can be limited or cut off completely when Bayshore Blvd or Davis Islands flood. While there are other hospitals in the area, patients and ambulances that are redirected still have to navigate flooded roads, fresh submerged potholes and abandoned cars. When someone is facing a medical emergency, whether it is cardiac arrest or premature labor, every minute counts. For our families with premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, not having an open road to their baby during flooding can be terrifying. We cannot continue to put our community at risk, and undue hardship on Tampa General Hospital and ambulance drivers attempting to manage patient transport during recurrent flooding.
2. Cost of flooding – Although the cost of the recent flooding to our community as a whole has not been estimated, we can assume the number will be eye opening. At High Risk Hope, we were forced to close the Ybor office several days over the past two weeks due to flooding. From an important Board meeting to hospital deliveries to sponsorship opportunities and cancelled events the recent flooding certainly has hurt us. Many other local businesses facing the same decision closed their doors for the safety of their employees and customers. Employees who did brave the roads to get to work most likely faced damage to their cars as they tried to blindly navigate flooded streets and bridges. For the areas where water made it into homes, the damage to personal property was devastating.
3. The pink hurricane, rather elephant, in the city – Once the rainwater clears; it is easy to quickly forget the frustration we all face with recurrent flooding. The pink elephant in the city is what our residents may face during another heavy storm or hurricane with any type of storm surge. Personally, the recent rain and flooding aftermath gives me little confidence of safety and my family will be the first on the road out of town.
Many of us have turned into Monday morning quarterbacks about what should have already been done to prevent this problem, but no one person is to blame. Mayor Buckhorn, City Council and other local leadership did not create this problem but I hope they will be part of the solution. If each of us compared our personal annual cost of flooding to the current proposed $250 Million overhaul of the stormwater drainage system ($149 increase per taxpayer per year), are we all better off financially paying the increased taxes? This week alone we spent $250 on a water pump, to remove water from puddles creeping close to the house.
The Land Rover marketing manager in charge of this ad needs a promotion. I received my ad in the mail yesterday, impeccable timing although not within my budget.
By Kerri Kibbey
My family and I have been living in Tampa for almost 6 years and have yet to visit all the wonderful places it offered it’s residents. This summer the kids (Zane 5 and Kennedy 4) and I decided to skip camps and pretend we are tourists. Each week we try and plan something we have never done before. Here are the some of the activities we have let pass us by and why your family should treat every summer as if you were a tourist:.
1. The TECO Line Streetcar. You’ve seen it downtown, passing the aquarium and through Ybor City, but have you ever actually been on it? After an aquarium visit one day we rode it downtown and then to Ybor City. The kids were excited to point out all the places they recognized and we jumped off in Ybor for ice cream at Joffrey’s.
3. Tampa Bay Storm Game. If you have never experienced arena football, I encourage you to go. It was a BLAST! We happenedto attended the rivalry game: Orlando Predators vs Tampa Bay Storm. We saw the SWAT team propel down from the center of the field, motorcycle cops with their lights on drive around the arena, the lighting bolts went off when the Storm scored, constant action with the players, and go cart races during halftime. The kids are asking to go back to the final home game.
4. Beaches. We could probably find a new beach each week to visit. There are so many beautiful beaches we haven’t even been able to explore yet. Pass-a-grille and Indian Rocks have been two of our favorites so far.
5. eBoating. Have you seen the eBoats cruising down the Hillsborough River? The boats leave from the Tamp Bay Convention Center/Sail Pavilion and seat up to 15 people. You may bring your own food and drinks on board and they rent by the hour. They say it’s just like driving a golf cart and will give you a quick tutorial on how to drive before they send you off down the river. Date night, girls night out, family fun day or even to give out of town guests a tour of the area…. I highly recommend you rent one soon.
6. Tampa Bay Rays Summer Games. The TB Rays offer summer concerts and family events throughout the summer months. Each summer we pick a game to take he kids to and usually these events end with the kids being able to run around on the field. Sporting event and family fun – that’s what the summers are about.
By Heather Barrow
Whether you are in intensive care with your premature baby, staying at home with busy and accident-prone toddlers or juggling your work and home responsibilities, there is an invisible line that you see the minute you’ve crossed it. It is the line that tells you that you’ve gone too far and something needs to give. Everyone has a limit and I’ve hit mine again. Here is how I plan to push the reset button to get back on track with my daily obligations without jeopardizing my sanity.
1. Delegate – There are tasks we all are doing on a daily basis that can be delegated. Whether it is having your six-year-old load the dishwasher (he can do it) or pushing a project to a capable employee or co-worker, you must take advantage of these ‘free’ opportunities. Not only are you helping the helper out by allowing them to learn new skills, you are saving yourself from tasks that can easily be completed by someone other than you. I may be taking this overboard at home as Hill told me in his sassiest voice to “put your stinky slippers back yourself” this morning. Ouch!
2. Outsource – Do not confuse outsourcing with delegating. Outsourcing means you have to pay someone for something you can do for ‘free’. The concept of free is misused often when referring to your time. Most people believe money is your most valuable resource but I disagree. Your time is your most valuable resource and should always be treated that way. If someone else can do something for you for less than it would ‘cost’ you to do yourself, you can’t afford not to hire him or her. An example for me is designing photo books I have been putting off for years. It is important to me to have photo books and scrapbooks for my children. I have never allocated the time to do this until this summer when I hired a wonderful college student to help me out. Two work days in, and she has completed two books and is working in my home office as I type this. This is the best money I have spent in a while.
3. Get three things done per day – In the past, I have made an endless daily to-do list that I feel bad about at night because I never complete it. I have read enough entrepreneurial articles to finally admit I am approaching daily tasks at home and work all wrong. From today on I will make my daily top five list, with the tasks I want to do least at the top, and strive to get three of them done by dinner. Not only will I now feel daily accomplishment (instead of disappointment) the perfectionist in me will probably strive to do all five. Anyone can do three important tasks a day; what will you get done today?
4. Check emails once per day – My husband Bennett has been annoying me for months with this text at the bottom of his emails. I have finally seen the light as constantly checking and replying to emails is an interruption that is eating away at my day by the minute. The first step in this plan is to turn off all email notifications on every device (both sound and the little red circle with a number). Checking emails once per day is more than adequate, and anyone with an ‘urgent’ matter will call. What will be tough is practicing what I preach and not demanding an immediate email response back by others.
5. Ignore the negative chatter – There is a constant chatter in my head that I could be doing almost everything better. Whether it relates to raising my children or running High Risk Hope, I am my worst critic. Sometimes it is spurred by misplaced criticism from someone in my inner circle or a negative comment from strangers on the Internet looking to stir up trouble. The bottom line is I am doing my best with the time and resources I have and that is enough. I want to be the first person to tell you that whatever you are doing is enough too, ignore the haters including yourself.
Whatever your limit, chances are you will hit it too this summer if you haven’t already. I challenge you to learn from my mistakes and implement these easy changes before you cross the line.
By Heather Barrow
I got home last night from dropping my eight-year-old daughter Claire off in North Carolina for her first time at sleep away camp, which will last 12 days. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking this time last year when I signed her up without even visiting the camp beforehand. I did not go to camp. My sister and I weren’t even allowed to sleep over at friends’ houses because my mom was extremely protective of us. My husband on the other hand started going to camp when he was seven, and went every summer through his teenage years. His sister, mom, grandmother and great aunt (who is now 103) went to the camp Claire is attending. I knew if I did not send her to camp, and this specific one, I would be breaking a tradition that went back generations. Claire is healthy, well rounded, adventurous, outgoing and was chomping at the bit to attend camp, so I gave in. I have learned after my first camp drop off that NICU moms don’t make good summer camp moms. Here’s why:
1. The local hospitals are not up to our standards. Most camps are understandably located in the middle of the mountains for the scenery and activities expected at a great summer camp. That also means that hospitals are few and far between. On the drive in to camp I was frantically searching the Internet for more information on the only hospital in the city. Having been spoiled rotten by our local hospitals, and the amount of time I spent in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with Hill and the children’s emergency room with Claire, I was underwhelmed with what I found on this particular hospital. Bennett was not impressed when I asked him how we could find out the local hospital’s plan to medevac a camper to a better hospital if needed.
2. Minimal communication. Campers are not allowed to call home, only write letters. The moment we pulled out of the camp I felt nauseous from sheer panic. Leaving my firstborn child was against every fiber of my being as a mother. I wanted to talk to her to know she was OK but I knew it wasn’t happening. Even if she wrote me a letter every day (which I begged her to do) the first one won’t arrive until the end of this week. We’ve all seen the posts about hysterically funny letters from campers. In the daily letters I write to Claire, I can relate to the one from a camper that says ‘these wet spots are my tears.’ Luckily I have a wonderful sister-in-law who sent her sister, also dropping off a daughter at camp, to check on Claire after we left. She said Claire was already right at home.
3. Complete loss of control again. NICU moms know how terrible if feels to have no control over your child’s health when they are in the hospital. Although Claire was not my NICU baby, I have attempted to control her safety just as much as Hill’s. Dropping her off at camp and having no control over her health and well-being is terrifying. Will she wear sunscreen? Will she get tick bites? Will she take extra risks during horseback riding? Please, please don’t dive into water until you are 100% sure of how deep it is. On the way up, she told me I would be THE worst camp counselor. She said I would make campers wear helmets and safety gear for everything from the zip line to swimming, running after them yelling ‘be careful!’
4. Stalker tendencies re-emerge. I was a big-time stalker in the NICU. From doctors to nurses to specialists, I needed to know which person was seeing Hill and why at all times. I have noticed my stalker tendencies re-emerging with Claire through the photos posted by the camp. Just yesterday they posted 300 photos on the private website and she was not in one (I checked twice). In the email I sent to her today (we can only write once per day) I couldn’t resist saying “I looked through all of the camp photos they posted from yesterday, the Renaissance party looked so fun. I didn’t see you in any of the pictures. We would love to see how much fun you are having so try to get in a few.” Subtle, right?
5. They are OK without you. I want Claire to have the best time at camp and I don’t want her to be sad or miss us for a minute. If she has a great time, that also means she is OK without me. That is part of growing up but also difficult for most parents to accept. Clearly, Claire wants and needs to escape the maximum-security Barrow nest and spread her wings. I only hope she happily flies back home (in one piece) after her big adventure. I can sleep a little easier knowing we picked a reputable camp, with wonderful girls and a staff that will take the best care of her.
Speaking of flying, to my absolute horror, Hill is already talking about one day going to camp. Telling Hill he could go to camp when pigs fly was not the most mature response. I only know that sending my NICU baby to be looked after by strangers does not seem like a possibility right now, and that’s OK. Luckily, Hill is not as sad about Claire being at camp as I am. He writes “Dear Claire, I will miss you even though I will have some peace. Love, Hill.”
By Sarah (aka Grammy) Cauley
Summer and outdoor play go hand in hand. I love teaching kids about gardening. They love to dig in the dirt and learn where food and flowers come from. You can start small with a personal herb garden that will not only spice up your food life but will also teach your children about healthy living. Here is a list of how to create a container garden with your kids. These same steps also apply to a container flower garden.
Materials needed: (1) Organic potting soil mixed with all-natural organic fertilizer; (2) Herbs or flowers of choice; (3) Planting container of choice; and (4) Small gardening shovel.
Patio containers are easy to plant, but it’s worth spending a few minutes preparing the pots before you start. Select a pot that will accommodate the plants easily and will allow room for growth. If you are using terra cotta pots, prepare them for planting by first giving the insides a good soaking using a watering can or hose.
Select your favorite herbs or flowers from your local nursery, garden center, like Home Depot or Lowe’s—organic varieties of rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, cilantro, and mint make good choices because they’re common to cook with. Before removing the herbs from the nursery pots, water the plant to saturate the roots and help loosen the soil from the sides of the plastic containers. A trick to easily remove the herbs or flowers is to roll the pot on its side while using gentle pressure.
Fill the pot with compost, leaving a gap at the top to allow for watering. Mix a granular fertilizer into the soil according to the instructions on the packet.
Position plants in the pot, leaving enough space between them to allow for growth. Gently firm down the soil around the roots, and water in well.
Arrange the herbs or flowers equal distance from each other. Dig holes. Place plants so their base is level with top of soil. Cover roots and fill any gaps with the remaining potting soil. Next, water again. Make sure to water about every other day or as needed.
Position plants in the pot, leaving enough space between them to allow for growth. Gently firm down the soil around the roots, and water in well.
Now sit back and watch your garden grow while you build lasting memories with your children.
By Joanne Stainton
As we approach the twins 4th birthday I can’t help but be reminded of all of the terrifying events surrounding their birth-the emergency c-section, ventilator setting, back to back PDA ligations, numerous blood transfusion, etc. But one event will forever stand out for me, the night our sweet 1lb 9oz daughter had a small bowel perforation at 12 days old-this event changed our family’s lives forever.
Since Kate was so small at the time, her body wasn’t equipped to deal with the trauma at hand and a few weeks later developed a brain bleed. I’ll never forget the call from the Neonatologist telling me her head ultrasound showed a Grade 3+ bleed. That day I thought my world had ended. The future I had imagined for our sweet girl was gone. She would most likely never walk, talk, go to prom or graduate like everyone else’s kids would. Our family went into a period of mourning. How can you find a bright side with all of this grief? A few months later, while walking to another doctor appointment, out of nowhere, Kate smiled for the first time. I’ll never forget fumbling for my phone to take a picture while I was a crying mess on the sidewalk. It was the happiest day of my life. That day was a turning point for me. While she would never hit any prescribed milestone, the ones she would hit would mean more to me than anything else. I don’t mean to discredit her amazing brother, her twin William. They are both a gift from God that I would never take for granted. But to see this sweet girl who had been through so much, smile like everything was just right, affected me forever.
At 6 months Kate was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. We were told she may never talk or walk or accomplish anything close to that of others her age. But that smile made me realize that I don’t care. As long as my little girl is happy and healthy that’s enough for me. I don’t see her disability as an obstacle she can’t overcome, more a reality that is to be faced with love and compassion. There are definitely days when the endless therapies and doctor appointments get to me. But she is a blessing given to my husband and I that we are so thankful for. We never imagined that our pregnancy would result in an emergency c-section at 25 weeks or that our sweet girl would be disabled as a result. But, faced with reality we know we are a stronger family because of it. The love and welfare of our family supersedes anything else in our lives and makes us so appreciative of what we have. We have also learned that perfect means different things to different people. We see our little girl as perfect where others would be terrified to be in our shoes and that’s OK because in the beginning we were terrified too. So we hope. We hope she is always happy. We hope that she continues to progress. And, most importantly, we hope she keeps on smiling.
By Heather Barrow
I have many personality flaws but a lack of confidence is not one of them. Growing up I was teased like everyone else, targeted for my unusually skinny legs that bow backwards (see picture) so much I have to ‘bend’ my knees to make them look straight. I wasn’t bothered by it and embraced the nickname ‘sticks’ by showing them I could also turn my ‘sticks’ and feet backwards because I’m double-jointed. As an adult, I am blessed with a great deal of supporters, but also know there is a smaller group of people out there anxious to see me fail. Some of my ‘friends’ may even be in the latter group. They are the people that privately judge HRH, my family, home, finances, parenting and me. In the business world, I am judged for being aggressive, assertive, and confident, which most people are alarmed to encounter when working with a woman running a non-profit organization.
How do I keep my confidence high in a world full of negativity? It’s simple; I genuinely don’t care what other people think about me (with the exception of my family and a handful of my closest friends). I may be surprised if I hear someone doesn’t like me, or annoyed if they said something hurtful, but I don’t for a minute believe it is because I am not a good person. In my mind, it says more about the other person than me. I make decisions based on my moral compass and prioritize my time spent with people who add and multiply to my life (Grammyism #3). I apologize when I make mistakes and the people who matter forgive me. Everything else is just background noise and doesn’t play any role in my life. I attribute my high confidence as one of the biggest factors throughout my life that has helped me overcome whatever challenge I am facing. I want to make sure my children, especially my daughter, are raised with the same confidence, and your children too. Here are my top five tips for raising a confident child:
1. Lead by example – If you are critical of your own appearance, parenting, accomplishments and relationships, then your kids will learn to mirror that criticism about themselves. Celebrate your hard-earned accomplishments and talents and your children will follow suit. When someone pays you a compliment, especially in front of your child, accept it with a simple ‘thank you’ instead of finding a way to brush it off. If you don’t believe how great you are, how are you going to convince anyone else they are great, especially your children? When Claire had to cut out words to describe herself from a magazine for a school project, the only trouble she had was running out of space. You can tell this kid is pretty impressed with herself when she uses words like unstoppable, best and skyscraper to describe herself.
2. Build people up – Building yourself up by knocking others down does not accomplish anything, especially building your own confidence. Confident people help bring out the confidence in others because that is best for everyone. From school to home to work, if every person is their most confident self, the environment will be optimal for whatever you are trying to accomplish. I’ll be honest: this is a challenge in our house. As I type this, Hill is telling Claire she has stinky breath and Claire is responding that Hill stinks in general. I tell each of them to build the other one up dozens of times everyday. I am waiting for it to stick at home and am hopeful it is overflowing with relationships outside of home as well.
3. They’re just jealous – Those of you who know my sister Amber have heard this sentence before. When someone said or did something nasty to me growing up, she could not fathom how what they said could possibly be taken seriously. Her explanation was (and still is) “they’re just jealous”. In her mind (and mine too) we refuse to let what other people say about us define who we are. Do I really believe everyone who says something hurtful is jealous? No but this term is our way to ignore the haters. Find your own term for your children to help them understand this concept. If you need help speaking their language, there are several lines in Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off that will work.
4. Turn flaws into assets – We all have what other people perceive as flaws, but I challenge you to think of them differently. Are your child’s ‘flaws’ really assets? In Kindergarten my daughter struggled with speaking out in class. She could not contain herself when she had something to share. Most of the time it was the answer to a question, which was not fun when you are another child in the class. This is not a celebrated trait in school, teachers require order and want to give everyone in class an opportunity to speak. In Claire’s class that year, the kids who were rewarded the most with the coveted “message of the day”, were the ones who were able to sit quietly through an entire day. Claire excelled in many other areas (like scaling the rock-wall) but sitting quietly for the entire day was not possible for her. I vividly remember my own Kindergarten chalkboard and my name was always up there with at leastone checkmark for talking. I took this opportunity to tell Claire that some of the things that get her in trouble now will be the very same things that will be celebrated as an adult. There is no workplace in America that frowns on an assertive and excited employe. In fact, those are the ones who get promoted! The same is true for successful entrepreneurs. They are not the people who sit quietly in the back and wait their turn. The result in my house is already paying off with both kids constantly pitching new business ideas!
5. Master public speaking – Get your children speaking in front of other people as early as possible. My children are fortunate enough to have a strong public speaking emphasis at their school that starts in PK. They don’t know it’s not normal to get up and speak in front of people on a regular basis. If your school doesn’t have the same priorities, there are many other places you can send them (some through scholarship), like Patel Conservatory camps, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. Also, don’t underestimate the usefulness of a home audience, which is free and readily available. I did not speak in front of others until a college public speaking class, and I was petrified the first time. I have had many opportunities to speak in front of both small and large crowds since then, but there is always the underlying butterflies that accompany the speaking engagement. What I always tell myself (and my children) is that everyone has the exact same feeling in the pit of his or her stomach about speaking in public. Great public speakers label the feeling as excitement, while the mediocre ones call it nerves.
Is there such a thing as too much confidence? Possibly, but whose measurement standard should we use? For me, there may be a fine line between people’s perception of confidence versus arrogance, but I will take that minimal risk to ensure that I am raising two confident children that will one day be extremely successful adults.