PLAE-it-forward + István
István is sometimes known as Tiny Mister Fort Hood, a role he takes seriously. It was an important honor for this aspiring special needs model and actor, but also an opportunity to support a cause that’s important to him.
photos provided by Amanda Slade Binecz
István was born 14 weeks, 5 days premature, weighing only 1 lb., 6 oz.—very tiny indeed. After meeting two founders of Caiden’s Hope Foundation, he and his family began volunteering in support. Caiden’s Hope is a non-profit that provides financial support to families with premature neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They grant money for everyday expenses (such as parking, tolls, travel, gas, lodging, meals and incidentals) to enable families to spend more time with their child(ren) in the NICU.
Says his mom, Amanda: “Although Caiden’s Hope was founded in July 2010, nine months before István’s traumatic entrance into this world and his 216-day hospitalization, we did not know of this non-profit or one like it. In an effort to ensure other families have the support they need during their NICU stay, we are passionate about spreading the word about Caiden’s Hope and fundraising for such as worthy cause.” Their initiatives include a donation-only yard sale to raise funds, volunteering with the Strive 2 Thrive Fall Fest Fundraiser, and visits to local NICUs to let families know of the assistance available through the foundation.
Although his reign as Tiny Mister is coming to an end, István plans to stay involved with the foundation and continue supporting fellow micro preemies and preemies. You can show support by donating directly and using checkout code GIVE211 to donate 10% of any PLAE purchase to Caiden’s Hope. Shop now to earn a donation.
Note: If you know of a preemie parent(s) currently in the NICU that could use their assistance, Amanda asks that you have a hospital social worker contact the Executive Director, Wayne Keller directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.