Will You Help Us Save Our Babies?


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Atlantic City recognizes Infant Mortality Awareness Day

ATLANTIC CITY - Posted: Sep 26, 2013 9:27 PM EDT by Staff Writer

Atlantic City recognized Infant Mortality Awareness Day Thursday, and a local organization held a special memorial to those who have lost infants.

"A– HEART" and the Reliance Foundation hosted the memorial service to recognize all of the so–called infant angels; babies who died suddenly.

A major aspect of "A HEART's" mission is to help lessen the number of deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome and other causes.

Robbin Bell, the  founder of  "A HEART" stated, "So our goal is to be able to get all the information that we can to individuals to make sure we don't lose another baby in our city."

 

To learn more about A HEART, or to donate, visit: www.aheartministries.org


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Parents get donated supplies in wake of Sandy

ATLANTIC CITY - Dec 13, 2012 7:05 PM EST by Ryan Ross

A local non–profit organization did its part Thursday afternoon to make sure parents had all the supplies they need for the holidays in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The Reliance Foundation and A.H.E.A.R.T. partnered to provide parents with donated items ranging from clothing and diapers to toys and baby formula. 

"Every single thing has been donated, that's probably one of the most powerful things about this. The South Jersey hospitality of being able to come together, stand together and meet the needs of our infants in crisis," said Reliance Foundation A.H.E.A.R.T. executive director and founder Robbin Bell.

The annual "Rattle the Holidays" event held at the Victory First Presbyterian Church took on increased meaning this year as families still recover from Sandy.

"It's very great for people who need help with situations and can't exactly get everything they need. They help us with clothes and diapers, toys and formula and stuff to help with the babies," said Beonica Gaskill, a mother of three.

"We lost our power, some of the toys and clothes got wet, shoes got damaged, windows got broken so it really helps to get donated stuff from other people," said mother of two Tieina Cruz.

Dozens of volunteers helped distribute the items and representatives from A.H.E.A.R.T. say people, churches and businesses donated the supplies which included 25,000 diapers.

Representatives from A.H.E.A.R.T. say the community jumped at the opportunity to help children in the wake of sandy.

"Everything is always donated, but this is the largest magnitude of denotations we have ever had. We're excited to be in this position, to be able to help those infants," said Bell.

Today's Rattle the Holidays was open to all of those in need and event organizers say no one was turned away.


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A Local Group Tackles High Infant Mortality Rate

ATLANTIC CITY - Oct 18, 2012 5:49 PM EDT by Staff Writer

Each picture tells a harrowing story. A baby born into poverty, addiction and abuse. Trying to survive, trying not to become one of the 650 infants who die each year in New Jersey before their 3rd birthday. 

"Hearing about the statistics and knowing it we just wanted to bring attention to the community and see how we can bring as coming together as one and make an impact on this community," said Minister Robbin Bell, President of A HEART.

Minister Robbin Bell formed a non-profit organization called A HEART, which stands for All Hearts Educating Advocating and Restoring and Transforming. And today marks their first anniversary. The group held a candlelight vigil at the Soldier's Home in Atlantic City, and the community showed up to show their support.

 

"I was really (gasp) affected by the heart. I've lost two kids. I'm blessed for the two that I have. And I also had the opportunity to get information and to pass it on."

According to A-HEART majority of infants under two have higher incidents of abuse. And every day in New Jersey 1,153 babies are born to teen mothers. 

Although the statistics are alarming, Minister Bell says the solution is not that difficult.

"We can be able to provide diapers and go to the Dollar Store and pick up items that show an act of love and kindness and give young people hope that someone cares for them," said Bell.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports Infant mortality rates in minority communities are disproportionately higher than those in white communities. A HEART is funded through donations and everyone here is a volunteer. If a person receives help from the program they are encouraged to pay it forward. 

"If they receive infant clothes then what we ask of them is for them to take good care of it and bless someone else. So it keeps it going and then they feel empowered that they're not just receiving but they are taught how to give," said Bell.

Although there are programs available for expectant mothers who need assistance. Atlantic City Councilman Mo Delgado says A HEART is vital to the community. 

Right now it's essential. Because there's too many times where resources aren't readily available for children. We have fabulous programs like WIC and things like this...but they fill that gap," said Delgado.

A HEART fills the gap so New Jersey babies survive childhood and live normal lives.