Each year in Washington, 12,000 babies enter the world addicted to the illicit drugs their mothers ingested during pregnancy. Their first few weeks of life aren’t filled with gentle lullabies and visits from love-struck relatives. Instead, these smallest victims of drug abuse must struggle through withdrawal.
This month, PEMCO employees from across the state reached out to help Kent’s Pediatric Interim Care Center (PICC). It’s the state’s only 24-hour care center where drug-exposed and medically fragile infants can safely and skillfully be brought through withdrawal.
Besides serving babies born addicted to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, methadone, and prescription drugs, PICC also provides community outreach and education services aimed at giving the babies a chance to thrive despite their difficult beginnings.
Coni B., a PEMCO Sales Operations consultant, nominated and championed PICC to receive funding as one of PEMCO’s 12 “Nonprofits of the Month” for 2016. It seemed an especially fitting choice for February – the month that celebrates love. Coni wrote:
“I’ve been asked why I’m passionate about PICC. I have some important reasons, but the biggest one is her. Our little Lia.
“She spent the first two months of her life slowly withdrawing from heroin. She came to us as our foster daughter upon her release from PICC. A little over a year later, she became ours forever.
“Lia’s now three and a half, slightly delayed in some areas of development, and the light of our lives – bright, expressive, and silly. PICC gave her the start she needed to thrive, and we’re providing her a happy, forever family!”
Employees nominate and vote on charities to become a PEMCO Nonprofit of the Month. Participating PEMCO employees then pledge $5, $10, or $20 a month to the selected charities. PEMCO Foundation boosts their gifts through an additional donation. Last year, they donated more than $20,000 to charities located in Seattle, Spokane, and Lynnwood (the three cities where PEMCO has regional offices).
PICC gratefully welcomes community support through volunteering, cash gifts, and donations of supplies like diapers and hand sanitizer. Here’s how you can help.