Benton’s Hope is a charitable organization formed to support projects that diminish stress to families after the birth of acutely ill babies in the Detroit Lakes, Fargo-Moorhead, and Grand Forks areas.
Benton was born Sept. 3, 2013, to parents Amy and Sean Degerstrom. He spent 25 days at hospitals in Detroit Lakes, Fargo and Minneapolis before passing away from acute lung conditions.
His short life left his parents deeply aware of the struggles for parents of acutely-ill newborns. They formed Benton’s Hope in 2014 to provide families with compassionate and practical resources supporting them in moments of struggle, loss, uncertainty and, sometimes, grief.
Benton’s Hope provides comfort kits for parents who’ve lost a newborn, and establish resources to diminish anxiety to family members hospitalized apart from one another after emergency transfers.
Items in the comfort kits include a teddy bear, journal, resource lists (such as counselors, volunteers who’ve experienced the same loss, and other grief resources), hand printing clay, and other memory book items. Care packages for those whose baby is transferred include a gas card, gift card for meals, camera memory card and lists of what to pack, where to stay and what to expect at arrival. Select hospitals will also be provided tablet computers so patients are able to Skype with separated family members and interact with the distant care team.
Future charitable projects will all focus on helping families of newborns and kids of all ages.
Benton’s Hope is a charitable fund of Dakota Medical Foundation and is not separately incorporated. DMF oversees the administration of the fund so its committed leaders can focus on helping people, not paperwork.