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A Mission of the Heart



Are you prepared for a long-term hospital stay with your child?


I think the greatest fear for any parent is that  their child will become seriously ill or be diagnosed with a chronic condition. I have been so very fortunate with four healthy children and only one with an extended (4 day) hospital stay.

For many of us, it’s unimaginable to think of what would happen if our child is diagnosed with an illness that requires numerous or lengthy hospital stays or we have a child born with a severe condition, such as congenital heart disease.


Would you be ready if you needed to be by your child’s side day-to-day in the hospital?

Think for just a moment – would I have gas in the car to go back and forth; how will I eat while I’m there; if I have to take a leave of absence or quit my job, how will we pay the bills; are out-of-pocket expenses or limited time going to mean less for Christmas and birthdays;  am I going have the strength to get through this fearful time?

Sometimes one person, one tiny life, can bring the most monumental change and support for others. That is how a wonderful organization, Zachary’s Mission, began.

Zachary Hunter Vince lived surrounded by the comfort, care, and love of his parents for just fifteen days. Zachary was born with a congenital heart defect and the brief time spent in his parent’s life set them on a heartfelt mission to find ways to ease the difficult time spent during a child’s hospital care for other parents.

As they share in Zachary’s story:

Despite countless prayers and the best care provided, we lost Zachary on June 28th, 2008.
Moving forward, we knew our lives had been changed forever. Although we walk away with empty arms, a new world was unveiled to us. Looking back, we find comfort and some healing from our ability to spend every day at Zachary’s side. Unfortunately, not all families have the necessary financial and emotional support to do the same. Some families are only able to visit their sick child at night or on the weekends because of job commitments or childcare obligations. Some parents not only worry about their sick child but the crushing financial toll of long term, intensive hospital treatment and the expenses that accumulate with their stay.


We can help Zachary’s Mission in their continued efforts to ease the stress and expenses these parents face!

Please make it your mission to give from the heart and donate to Zachary’s Mission during the Pittsburgh/Westmoreland Gives Day of Giving on October 3, 2012.

Why? Because online donations of $25 or more will be proportionally matched that day, so your gift will go even further. Your donation on October 3rd will help them give to so many families in such a positive way!

It’s heartwarming to read some of the most genuinely thankful comments to Zachary’s Mission work on their Facebook page.

  • “Thank you for all that you do through Zachary’s Mission to help families with children in the hospital! Sometimes it’s that random act of kindness that helps to lift your spirits and get you through the day! While staying in the hospital with our baby girl, something as simple as a healthy snack meant that we didn’t have to leave her side, allowing us to spend those precious moments with her.”
  • “Thank you for the lasagna dinner at the Children’s Home. It was delicious.”
  • “The families are very blessed to have you. Thank you for all you do.”

Reading through the posts made by Zachary’s Mission, you can really get a feel for how active, organized, and supportive this organization is!

  • Zachary’s Mission was given the opportunity to help a family with utility bills today. This family has endured a long and difficult hospital stay with their child. We have heavy hearts today as we are reminded of the difficult decisions and situations that these families must face everyday. We are so deeply grateful for your support which enables us to help so many families.
    Give your little ones an extra squeeze this evening!
  • Zachary’s Mission is picking up a few last minute items before our stop in Pittsburgh today. We will be stopping by Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center and the NICU at West Penn Hospital to drop off items that will take away some of the extra costs a family endures with their child’s extended hospital stay. We will drop off Gas cards, cafeteria vouchers, snack packs and quick meals.
  • Zachary’s Mission was honored to prepare brunch for the families at the Ronald McDonald House last weekend.
  • We stopped by The Children’s Institute in Squirrel Hill to drop off gift cards for families that commute everyday so that they may be at their sick child’s side while managing their children at home. The parent’s juggling act is not easy and we appreciate the opportunity to help ease their burden.

One of the ways Zachary’s Mission eases this burden for parents in the Greater Pittsburgh region is by providing Zack Packs to families.

These special back packs include many essential items that we take for granted,

but would be such a blessing for a parent caring for their child.

Shampoo and conditioner, Soap, Lotion,
Toothpaste / Toothbrush, Floss, Mouthwash,
Deodorant, Shaving Cream / Razor.  Items to help organize such as pens, pencils, paperclips, rubber bands and notepad. Bottled Water, Hand Sanitizer, Kleenex, Word Find/Puzzles, and journals so that families can keep track of every detail. Also now including “A Little Expression of our Heartfelt Care and Compassion Snack Packs” filled with various items to fight off hunger.

You can also plan to attend Zachary’s Mission Fall Gala, which is a major fundraising event.

Here’s the quick look on the Fall Gala details:

  • November 17
  • Longue Vue Club, Verona PA
  • Cocktails and dinner
  • Americas Latin Orchestra will be the entertainment
  • Dance instruction to warm everyone up
  • A featured auction piece is an original painting by local artist Mark Bender.

For other ways you can get involved with Zachary’s Mission, look here.

Simply Put – Don’t forget to set your calendar for October 3rd to give to Zachary’s Mission on the 2012 Day of Giving.

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  1. October 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

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