To honor the 380,000 babies born prematurely each year in the United States and their families, prominent buildings and landmarks nationwide, including the Empire State Building in New York City, will be bathed in purple lights for Prematurity Awareness Month in November.
Prematurity Awareness Month is being supported by Ally Brooke Hernandez, singer and member of Fifth Harmony, who was born three months premature herself; Chef Jacques Torres, who will host a fundraising event as part of Light BKLYN Purple in New York City; and Kelsey Nixon, Celebrity Chef from the Cooking Channel and contributor to The Rachael Ray Show.
Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the #1 killer of babies in the U.S., and the leading cause of death of children under age 5 around the world. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.
Prematurity Awareness Month lightings include State Capitol buildings in Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, as well as:
- Birmingham Zoo, AL;
- Union Plaza Building (downtown skyline), Little Rock, AR;
- All 5 river bridges spanning the Arkansas River;
- Hippodrome Theater, Gainesville, FL;
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH;
- Howard Hughes Corporation Building, Honolulu, HI;
- Power & Light Building, Kansas City, MO;
- Biloxi Lighthouse, MS;
- Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA;
- The Auxilio Mutuo Hospital, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
November 17 will be recognized around the globe as the 6th annual World Prematurity Day (WPD). More information is available on Facebook, where families and volunteers can share stories and videos about babies born too soon. Add your voice and sign-up on Thunderclap to automatically post a message of support and awareness of prematurity to your social media community. Change your profile picture by adding a WPD profile picture on Facebook and Twitter, helping to raise awareness without saying a word. Go Purple! by wearing purple or get more creative by covering your home, car or office – be sure to snap a photo and join thousands of people around the world by posting it to social media with #givethemtomorrow and #worldprematurityday.
Other Prematurity Awareness Month events include:
- Delivery of cards featuring messages of hope to families in the hospital newborn intensive care unit (NICU) in New York City, Chicago, IL, and Houston, TX;
- Premature birth summits for professionals in California, Oregon, and Virginia;
- “Lost But Not Forgotten,” a candlelight ceremony for families that have lost a baby in Savannah, GA;
- Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® program launch in Alabama;
- “High Heels for High Hopes” in Eugene, OR;
- March of Dimes Signature Chefs in Utah will prepare a gourmet meal for families in the NICU.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Launched in fall 2016, our Give them tomorrow campaign unites the efforts of the March of Dimes, corporations, organizations, and individuals to raise awareness and fund the fight against premature birth. Do something today: send a card to a family with a sick or premature baby in newborn intensive care, join a social movement by sharing #babysfirst, and observe World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17. Give them tomorrow is supported by generous corporate partners including Mud Pie, Philips Avent, Famous Footwear, Alex and Ani, Aldi, Bon-Ton, and Anthem. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.