"When Action meets Compassion,
The purpose of the "Action for Austin Foundation" is to bring smiles to the faces and hope to the hearts of those babies and children (and their families) fighting for their lives in the NICU and PICU during the holidays - and those staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses.
The Action for Austin Foundation was started in memory of our son, Austin Kallenberger, who was only 3 months old when he passed away. His life may have been short, but it has touched more families than we could have ever imagined. Austin was never able to speak, but we imagine if he could, he would have had words of encouragement about his situation and never would have complained about his struggles. That he would have wanted us to help others through similar situations. A couple months after his death, we started this foundation in his memory.
After being in the hospital through holidays especially, we learned how incredibly isolating it is to be in there. You should be home with your baby and child, not in a hospital. Our main mission at Action for Austin is to provide gifts of hope to the babies, children and families spending Easter, Halloween, and Christmas in the NICU and PICU units. We cover all local Bakersfield hospitals, Children’s Hospital of Central California Madera, Henry Mayo, UCLA, Cedars-Sinai and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. This is 366 NICU families.
The second mission of Action for Austin is to provide support to the Bakersfield, Madera and Los Angeles Ronald McDonald Houses. We provide gifts to these families as well and we sponsor family stays at the houses when we are able. The financial burden of paying for a hotel is indescribable. Ronald McDonald Houses are such a blessing, but after a month can also become a financial burden. And sadly enough, many families are in these facilities for 3 or more months. Especially those who have a child battling cancer.
The Action for Austin Foundation provides a smile and hope during the holidays and help and compassion to families who are struggling. Having a child fighting for their life in the hospital is the hardest experience in a lifetime. As a parent, you can’t change it. You can’t save your child. You can’t fix it. You are stuck. We know Austin would have wanted us to come alongside these families and remind them that no matter the outcome, there is light and life after the NICU and hospital.
With the donations we purchase gift cards for food and gas; purchase gifts for the babies and children (and families) – these may include blankets, hats, stuffed animals, bubbles, inspirational reminders; provide help to the Ronald McDonald House families; and/or sponsor a family who has been in a NICU for 3 or more months.
We believe Hope Changes Things! We hope you will join us and help us spread some HOPE!
Geoff & Stephanie Kallenberger
Founders | Austin's Parents