Helping Darja’s family

Hi all. Many of you have read about ongoing problems for Darja (ombriel) and her family. The short version: High-risk pregnancy, several months of bedrest and hospitalization, boy/girl twins born premature, the loss of her son shortly after, continued life-threatening health problems for her daughter who’s now home, and disabling headaches for her husband who is their source of income.

Any new mom is under stress. She is under 1,000 times the normal levels. Plus, with her husband semi-disabled for now, she’s the primary caregiver for her daughter.

I’ve been talking to Darja about ideas to help out. With her permission and approval, I’m ready to start some of those rolling. Currently her parents are with her, helping out. She will need help when they leave in July. So I’m getting the infrastructure in place now. In particular, this is a time when local friends would be tremendously helpful. I’m coordinating here on my blog so it’s less stress for her.

I am looking for at least two volunteers who want to help organize efforts, as listed in points 1 and 2. I’d also like a bunch of “followers” who are happy to donate an afternoon of time or some food or whatever, if someone tells them what to do; just speak up. Lastly, I’d like feedback regarding point 3 from anyone who has ideas.

1) Researching Modestneeds.org. This is an easy task and can be done by anyone on the internet with a little time. There’s a site called Modest Needs. They pay bills for people in need, up to $1000. (It’s intended to cover things like surprise medical expense, which can really wreck a person’s finances.) Someone needs to contact this group and see whether Darja’s family is eligible for help (they may not meet the income requirements). In short, we need someone who can research this site, email them, and determine if it’s helpful. If it’s a possibility, help Darja and her family apply. (To avoid duplicating effort, don’t start this until we decide who’s doing it.)

2) Coordinating Lotsa Helping Hands. This task is best done by someone who is a) local and b) has experience with newborns. However, it could be done by someone (or several someones) who are neither. What Darja’s family could use is a coordinator to arrange basic household help from her friends–who are anxious and ready to help, but no one is sure when/what to do. Tasks can include bringing over cooked meals, cleaning floors, arranging the nursery, or whatever else the family needs. Most importantly, the coordinator needs to think of things the family may need, and discuss with Darja which things she wants. (Thus someone with baby experience is helpful!) If you don’t want to coordinate this, but want to participate, speak up and the coordinator can get you on a list. I recommend using Lotsa Helping Hands, which is designed for exactly this purpose, but it could also be done by email.

3) Brainstorming. Anyone who has an opinion: What help do new parents need (that they may not even know about) which their friends can offer? Post here, to give the Lotsa Helping Hands coordinator some ideas.

Quick summary: We need someone to research Modest Needs, someone to coordinate Lotsa Helping Hands (plus “followers” to help with it), and general ideas for ways we can help (which can then be scheduled with Lotsa Helping Hands).

Post here, or email me at w e b AT vylarkaftan DOT n e t.

ETA: Some of us already gave the family some money to help with expenses, for which they were enormously grateful. I organized it privately by email about a month ago. If I missed you and you want to send something, you can either paypal something to them directly or paypal it to me at the above address, and I’ll forward it along. Thanks once again to everyone who helped out here, and also to those who wanted to but couldn’t. Darja has said repeatedly how amazing her friends have been.

ETA again: At this point, we’re assembling forces for the casserole brigade. Email me at the above address if you haven’t yet, and would like to help.

2 thoughts on “Helping Darja’s family

  1. Hi, I’m Jessi. My husband Mark and I are friends of Darja’s. Avery sent me the link to your website. I am a postpartum nurse and have experience with newborns and new moms. I live in Indy, have a five month old and six year old, and work night shift so travel for me can be a bit difficult. Anything that I can do to help I am more than willing to do. I can help with ideas for things she may need, come down and watch Petra so Darja and Ryan can have some time just the two of them, all I need is some advanced notice to arrange my schedule. I wish we still lived in Bloomington. Just let me know what I can do.
    ~ Jessi

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