Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oscar Chavez honours his premature baby girl Arianna

Oscar Chavez is the lead singer of Australian Band Suns of Cascadia. Oscar Chavez shot to fame after gaining a spot on Team Delta on The Voice Australia Season 2 from over 10,000 applicants. Oscar’s Blind audition has received over 250,000 views on YouTube.

President and Founder of Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope Rebecca Aziz said ‘We first learnt about Oscar and the premature birth of his daughter as a contestant on The Voice’.

“As soon as I heard about ‘Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope’, I just knew I had to be involved.” “I wish that I knew about ‘Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope’ while going through what we went through.”  “This is a topic that is very close to my heart and I want to do all that I can to help” said Oscar Chavez.

Rebecca Aziz is the mother of Yasminah who was stillborn and of identical twins who were born 9 weeks prematurely.  Her experiences made her realise how important it is to have something by which to remember each child and their special birth journey.  The tragedy is that some families have nothing: no photos, no record, nothing to hold.

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns.

Over one million little angels around the world each year never come home.

Over 45,000 babies are admitted into neonatal intensive and special care units every year in Australia. This is over 14.5% of all babies born and translates to over 115 admissions every day.

In 2009 there were 78 babies who died from SIDS and 2341 babies were stillborn.  *Australian Bureau Of Statistics AIHW National Perinatal Statistics Report

There are roughly 10 times more stillborn babies than babies who die of SIDS each year, yet this statistic hasn't changed for years. That's roughly 2000 babies a year or six a day in Australia. We all fear SIDS, yet stillbirth, which is far more common, is rarely talked about. *Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope

‘Yasminah’s Gift of Hope’ is a non-profit organisation that has provided over 8000 Australian families with a ‘Gift Of Hope’ support package since 2010. The G.O.H. Journals are special keepsakes that display ultrasound images, photos, cot cards, arm bands, and foot and hand prints as cherished mementos. The journals also allow parents to express their thoughts in a therapeutic and healing way.

Oscar Chavez said his decision to become an Ambassador for Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope was after his own personal experience of premature birth with his daughter Arianna.

“I have decided to become an Ambassador for ‘Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope’ for the simple reason of having experienced the hardship of premature birth with my Daughter Arianna. She was born at 31 weeks and weighed 1.1 Kilograms. I've seen the strength that these babies need to survive and I've seen the incredible nursing staff and equipment required to ensure these babies have the best chance of survival. Our daughter is one of the children that survived premature birth and she is the happiest baby I have ever met. She is a miracle to this world and means everything to me. I wish for other parents with premature children to have the same chance to hold their happy, healthy children every day.”

As Ambassador, Oscar Chavez will promote awareness of the high rate of premature birth and stillbirths in this country and the ongoing support and understanding available from Yasminah's Gift of Hope.

“We’re delighted to have Oscar as an Ambassador and grateful for his passion for the cause.  Oscar plans to write a song for Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope to help raise awareness. Oscar’s personally experienced premature birth and knows the struggle that parents go through at that time. He offers a unique prospective as a father of a premature infant. So often the focus is on the mother and with his help we can let dads know that there is support available for them too. ” said Rebecca Aziz

Oscar and his wife are currently expecting their second child, due later this year.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Collaborate For A Cause

Members of Australia’s handmade community will be hoping to raise more than $50,000 for a variety of charities including Yasminah's Gift Of Hope through Collaborate for a Cause – a massive online charity auction being held late July.

The event – which will take place via Facebook from July 26-28 – involves more than 340 small handmade businesses and hobby enterprises.

We are honoured and thrilled to have over 25 handmade businesses participating in over 15 collaborations. Together, they are hoping their collaborations raise over $2500 for Yasminah's Gift Of Hope.

The inaugural event in 2011 – which included 200+ businesses – raised $18,000.  Last year this was doubled to a massive $40,000 shared amongst 105 charities. This year, organiser Jen Kennedy from Ainslee Fox Handmade believes the donation tally could reach $50,000.

“We’ve had such an overwhelming response from the creative community on Facebook. We’ve got collaborations of two, three, four and even more businesses who have all worked together to create some amazing, beautiful handmade items. "

“Australia is fortunate to have a thriving community of talented craftspeople – many are stay-at-home mums – and this event is being held in the name of fun, friendship and giving.”

Members of the public will be able to bid on the auction via the Collaborate for a Cause Facebook page simply by commenting under a photograph of their favourite item. Payments will be taken by direct bank deposit or PayPal.

Full details about the auction and photographs/descriptions of the items being auctioned are available at