Since its creation last December, IWF’s Infant Care Project (ICP) has raised funds to provide $4,000 for childcare assistance to each of the 103 pregnant mothers who lost their spouses in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. According to IWF Vice Chairman Heather Higgins, “We don’t see the loss of a father as simply the loss of an income, but as the loss of a loving partner, that extra pair of hands.”

Some Infant Care Project mothers have hired professional baby nurses while others have used the grant to cover the cost of enlisting the help of a close relative. Mother of six Katy Soulas notes, “The babysitter I was able to hire means that I can give my children the one-on-one attention they need, like making sure I can read to them.”

The idea for the project came about as Higgins was walking her son to his lower Manhattan preschool on September 11. After returning home, she viewed television footage of noticeably pregnant women whose husbands were missing, and she called on the IWF to see if we could help.

In honor of these courageous women the IWF, under the direction of Judy Hill, hosted a luncheon at New York’s Midtown restaurant Cipriani in early September. Traveling from all over the country, and even Canada, nearly sixty of the ICP mothers with babies in tow attended this moving event.

Greeted by the magical sounds of a dulcimer, the mothers checked their babies into the nursery staffed by over thirty volunteers. Barbara Atwood, a firefighter’s wife, recalls, “They took care of your baby while you ate and socialized. They had toys donated, playpens, changing tables, swings, cribs. They had everything you could imagine to keep the children entertained. I met some new mothers, and it was absolutely wonderful. It gave us the opportunity to identify with each other and share our experiences.”

IWF Chairman Ricky Silberman read a letter written by First Lady Laura Bush that was addressed to the ICP mothers: “Today you are surrounded by new friends with whom to share the beauties and complexities of motherhood and from whom to take the comfort of understanding. I am touched beyond measure by the courage you demonstrate for your family and for the rest of us who may not know you personally, but who know you as some of the bravest heroes of September 11.”

Infant Care Project Selected Media Coverage

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
MSNBC Ashleigh Banfield on Location
25 local CBS, FOX, WB, and UPC Affiliates
BBC Television

Wall Street Journal
Associated Press (article ran in 160 newspapers)
New York Times
New York Post
New York Daily News

American Baby

Luncheon Speakers:
Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, IWF President

Libby Pataki, First Lady of the State of New York

Heather R. Higgins, IWF Vice Chairman

Jenna Jacobs, ICP Mother

Michael Goldstein, Chairman Toys ‘R’ Us Children’s Fund

The Honorable George Allen, Senator from the State of Virginia

Toys ‘R’ Us Children’s Fund
Scaife Family Foundation
Marsh, Inc.
Connemara Fund
Lakeside Foundation
Ruth & Lovett Peters Foundation
Atlantic Services of
Charleston Charitable Trust
Fannie Mae
The Fran & Ray Stark Foundation
The Grace Jones Richardson Trust
Harding, Loevner Management, L.P.
Jennifer Miller, Ltd.
Jewish Communal Fund
The JM Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
The Litwin Foundation
Monterey Fund
The National Christian Foundation
Philip Morris
The Purchase Fund
Sandra L. Kurtzig Foundation
Southern Company
Task Foundation
Triangle Community Foundation
Tyler Cooper & Alcorn, L.L.P.
Verizon Wireless
William E. Simon Foundation
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
David & Mary Covington
Alison S. Diamond
Sherman H. Foote
Howard R. Graber, Esq.
Giséle Huff
T.N. Jordan, Jr.
David & Sally Kennedy
Mary S. Kohler
Grant M. Lally, Esq.
Peter & Kay Lettenberger
John L. McCormack
Nancy B. Munger
Orson D. Munn
Hamish & Deirdre Norton
Myles C. Pollin
Erika Price
Dwight & Sandra Rabuse
L. Richardson, Jr.
Alexander & Mary Ross
Robert Loren Rotner
Carl W. Schafer
Alexander & Laurinda Schenck
Kristen R. Smith
Molly R. Smith
Kiki Von Fraunhofer-Kosinski
James E. Johnsen & Jeanine Von Zwehl

Baby Gifts:
Baby Einstein
Bu and the Duck
Creative Memories
The Disney Store
Dr. Hauschka
FAO Schwarz
Funny Friends, LLC
Gianna Rose Atelier
The Gift Wrap Company
Governor Pataki’s Office
Jack Rabbit Creations
Johnson & Johnson
Peter Pauper Press
Rich Frog Industries
Tiffany & Co.
Vera Bradley
Amy Meyer Allen
Khristine Kostis
Leslie McGuirk
Christine Pisera Naman
Mary Beth Piccinino
Peggy Sennott

Special Thanks
Judy Hill — Infant Care Project Director
Karla Davison, Shannon Seiberlich, & Elizabeth Sims — Nursery Coordinators
Leisha Pickering & Molly Shafferman — Event Planners
Grace Royer — Hammer Dulcimer
David Bowlin, Erin Breene, Fia Mancini & Maiya Papach — Andos String Quartet
Kristin Chenoweth — Vocalist
Sylvia Weinstock — Cakes
Michelle Jordan — Public Relations