This is a sponsored post with the Niche Parent Network & Conference. All opinions are my own.

oma

I've shared quite a bit about the struggles I had adjusting to life as a new mom. Some Boy had colic and Sidekick had food intolerances, both of which offered up a trying series of challenges for Nate and I. For months we waded through a confusing, hazy, sleep-deprived and tear-stained world. Don't get me wrong. It was all worth it in the end but I have NO love lost for the HMO-insurance-referral-specialist paperwork trail and endless hold music we left in our wake.

Here on the blog, we have new and expecting parents reach out often with concerns about how to manage those early stumbling blocks. “How do I make sure my child gets the proper care? How do I handle curveballs?” Our answer is always the same: find your champion. It is absolutely essential that you have someone on your side to help advocate for the care of you and your child. There will be mind-numbing days where you need a knowledgeable voice, and I've heard story after story of families being buoyed by a pharmacist, doula, doctor, or kind volunteer who helped them navigate the waters of the medical world.

For us that person has been Nate's mom, a nurse who we are blessed to have on hand. Oma has received more than her share of desperate phone calls from our family, bleary and feverish and unsure where to turn. She's helped guide us to the right resources, ask the correct questions and she's been honest with me when I'm being perhaps a little bit over-the-top (who ME?). Everybody needs that kind of support. Not everyone is lucky enough to have their support system “in house” like us, but that's all the more reason for them to be selective, seek out their advocates and acknowledge when someone makes a difference in the health of their family.

Give Thanks for Your Champion

To thank the people across America who are quietly doing caring things for their community on a daily basis, Health Mart pharmacies are awarding $50,000 in grants to community health non-profits.

champion of care

Share a story about the good deed you or someone you know has done, and you could be one of the lucky ones selected to choose a non-profit to receive thousands of dollars (a $30,000 grand prize grant, $3,000 or $2,000 second and third place grants or one of fifteen $1,000 finalist grants). Help champions in your community continue their important work in the field of health!

Nominations are underway now and starting on March 17th, the public will have two weeks to vote for their favorite Champions of Care at www.healthmartcommunity.com.