LUBBOCK, Texas — University Medical Center nurses asked for donations to go toward holiday care packages, which will be passed out to families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Christmas Day, said nurse practitioner Alicia Powell on Wednesday.

The nurses’ goal this year is to raise $5,000, which will make around 40 care packages filled with items like gift cards for food, journals for tracking feedings, toys for siblings and more.

“Things that are relaxing for mom, maybe a snack for Dad, some water bottles for mom because a lot of them are breastfeeding, little toys and trinkets for the kids, maybe something to keep them busy or a game they can play on Christmas,” Powell suggested.

Powell wants “anything that could make these families smile.”

“I couldn’t imagine having a baby in the hospital, fresh out and trying to navigate, especially those first-time moms,” Powell said, trying to put herself in those families’ shoes. “Like, how do I take care of a baby, let alone a baby that’s having to be either on a vent or is just super, super sick?”

It’s especially difficult during the holidays, Powell emphasized.

The struggles families face when their babies are in the NICU is why UMC nurses started making care packages in 2019.

“I think [families] deserve a lot of support. That’s another huge reason why I love to do this because I don’t want them to feel like they’re alone in this [and] that they’ve got this powerhouse community behind them.”

This year, Powell wants to provide families with clear ornaments that they can put their newborn’s hat and ID band in when they are discharged from the hospital.

There are several ways the community can help, whether they want to provide supplies, gifts, gift cards or monetary donations.

“We designated a drop-off at Dr. Amber Coon’s office,” she said, adding that it’s close to the hospital at 4403 6th St, Lubbock, TX 79416.

To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.

The deadline to donate is December 17, which will allow the nurses time to make final purchases and put the care packages together so that they’re ready to pass out on Christmas Day.

Powell said to email her with any questions at