Photos / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
Michele Reynolds was rocking a premature infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cook Children’s Medical Center when she asked if there was anything special the Reynolds family could purchase that might help the NICU. “I just love this hospital,” says Reynolds, who has devoted 20 years to Jewel Charity, an organization that has raised more than $67 million for Cook Children’s.
The answer surprised her. The NICU staff asked for a mamaRoo®, those infant carriers invented by a stay-at-home mom to soothe babies. The MamaRoo simulates being cuddled by human arms with five speeds and directions of motion and even plays music.
“When babies are screaming, they need to be held,” Reynolds says. But rarely are there enough nurses or volunteers to rock all the crying babies.
Reynolds bought three mamaRoos, then three more a couple of months later. “It was a good little thing,” she says; but it was only a drop in the bucket. There are often more than 80 infants in the crisis ward struggling with neurological issues, for example, or detoxing from drugs ingested in the womb. With other departments wanting MamaRoos for their young patients as well, Reynolds saw the value in getting more for the hospital and went to work.
As a former president and current board member of Jewel Charity, Reynolds was excited when she joined other Jewel Charity leaders in asking its Care4Kids division to add mamaRoos as a new initiative. It complimented Care4Kids’ other programs that provide helmets to protect young brains and send medically challenged children to summer camp. So far, they have raised about $8,000, which is enough for dozens of mamaRoos.
Michele’s husband, Fred Reynolds, periodically threatens to design business cards for her that declare her a “professional volunteer.” For the last 10 years, Reynolds has continued to be a shining example of an extraordinary life serving as the chair of UNT Health Science Center Foundation. The Foundation focuses on raising funds to support this institution that provides exceptional care for patients like her elderly father.
Rocking babies for three hours a week makes her happy. But, on occasion, she gets sad thinking about the tough road that lies ahead for many of the infants. That is when she jokes, “Where’s the mamaRoo® for me?”
As seen in the November 2016 issue of Alliance.
The 63nd Annual Jewel Charity Ball will be Dec. 10, 2016. For information, visit: jewelcharity.org
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is a proud sponsor of the 2016 Jewel Charity Ball.
For luxury homes throughout North Texas, see briggsfreeman.com. President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth Cultural District, Fort Worth-Mira Vista, Uptown, Lakewood, Southlake, The North, Ranch and Land, Ranch and Land West, and The Ballpark. Visit the Best Neighborhoods Site in DFW.