By Martie Thompson
About three years ago, Lindsey and Nick Sima were confronted with the unexpected when their second child, Beau, was born with what turned out to be Esophageal Atresia. He needed major surgery at three days old and the Simas then found themselves in and out of the hospital for two years, including a one-month stay in the pediatric intensive care unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital when Beau was nine months old. (Beau is thriving today.)
Lindsey Sima said her eyes were opened to not only the children, but also the parents, who walked through such trauma and anxiety from seeing their children struggle.
“We had a lot of support during our hospital stay from friends, family and church members, but not everyone did,” Sima said.
And thus, Project Renewed Hope, with a mission to bring hope to as many children and families it can through acts of love, was born.
“I knew I wanted ‘hope’ in the name,” Sima said. “Because in the season of desperation, we all need hope. ‘Renewed’ refers to needing to bring good things like hope back. And this is definitely a ‘project.’”
Sima said she started her mission of providing hope by making gift baskets for families with children in the hospital around Christmas 2017. With two young children at home (and now three children, with ages of six years, three years, and nine months), Sima realized she needed to streamline things.
She started Project Renewed Hope as a non-profit organization about six months ago and is currently the only volunteer. She put together a website with a donation link and uses those funds to purchase inspirational books for adults and children, gift cards to places like Starbucks and Chick fil A (with a card attached: “You deserve a break! Love, Project Renewed Hope”) and customized journals created by someone at her church.
“Journaling is so therapeutic, from our own experience,” Sima said.
Once a month, Sima delivers boxes with these items to the child life coordinator at Wolfson Children’s Hospital for her to distribute to families needing hope.
Sima said her long term goal is to grow the non-profit and eventually serve more hospitals and perhaps have a team of volunteers and/or employees to manage the increased workload. But for right now, she knows she is right where she needs to be.
“I have three little babies to take care of, and of course they are my priority,” Sima said. “I do what I can do for now. But I have felt called to do this and plan to continue.”
Visit www.projectrenewedhope.org for more information or to make a donation via PayPal.
Photos courtesy Lindsey Sima
Items from Project Renewed Hope are dropped off monthly at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.