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Halloween in the NICU

Jasmine Sidhu
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volunteers at hospital

Junior volunteers Jasmine Sidhu and Valeria Trujillo, pictured with NICU charge nurses, pose for a picture with NICU Halloween costumes at Ben Taub Hospital. 

Reminiscing on one’s youthful years is a delightful experience. Flipping through old photo albums and sharing early Halloween photos with family is a wonderful privilege. However, little ones in the NICU and their families may not be able to participate in traditional Halloween festivities. 

While volunteering at Ben Taub Hospital through the Harris Health Junior Volunteer Program, I was able to spend time in the hospital’s NICU. The NICU gives care to premature babies, born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It is natural for parents to feel overwhelmed and concerned while their baby receives care. 

My volunteer experience motivated me to begin creating Halloween costumes to bring joy to the NICU and allow families to connect with their little ones. Along with the help of some creative volunteers, our team created many costumes, allowing the NICU babies to celebrate their 1st Halloween. 

On Oct. 31, the NICU was filled with adorable superheroes, butterflies, mermaids, pumpkins, ladybugs, avocados, cupcakes, pineapples, and more. Several recognizable characters such as Gru’s minions from Despicable Me and Yoda from Star Wars were also present in the unit. 

Halloween costumes

Halloween felt costumes created by Harris Health Volunteers.

One volunteer, Valeria Trujillo, reflected on her experience: “Creating the costumes was such a wonderful experience. I was able to volunteer and give back to the community. When I saw that there was an opportunity to help the NICU, I was overjoyed because I love babies and I want to work with them. This led me to join the group in charge of making the costumes. I was also able to use my creativity with no boundaries or limits and made 30 costumes. I made a variety of different costumes from superheroes to flowers to food and many more. At my school, North Houston Early College High School, we focus a lot on giving back to our community. I always enjoy volunteering and helping out whenever I can, it's my passion, and since my dream is to be a NICU nurse this felt even more special. I felt proud and content to make them and when I heard the charge nurse at the Ben Taub NICU say, 'I am so happy that you guys were able to make this possible for us,' I knew that taking this opportunity and making them was very worth it.”

I am very grateful to have this opportunity to share happiness and love with the community involved with the NICU. My team of volunteers, Veda Manikonda and Valeria Trujillo, and I are hopeful that the costumes can provide some normalcy for families. Although Halloween may look a little different for these families, we are wishing it was just as special. 
 
Editor's Note: Jasmine Sidhu also writes for our School Buzz blog; you can see her other stories here. To learn more about the NICU, please visit the March of Dimes website. For local coverage of the NICU Halloween Costumes project, see this story from KPRC.  

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