ALBERT LEA, Minn. - The birth of a baby is an exciting time, or at least it should be for families.
KIMT News 3 is learning not everyone's experience is the same, especially for families of babies born with Down Syndrome.
Now, a Minnesota non-profit, Jack's Basket, is expanding its reach to ensure every child is celebrated.
Southeastern Minnesota moms, Nicole Kunkel and Kristin Overland, both have daughters born with the genetic disorder and say there is a lot of uncertainty when you give birth to a child with special needs.
That's where Jack's Basket comes into play.
The organization gives baskets to families of children born with Down Syndrome.
The baskets are stuffed with a onesie, rattle, pamphlets, books, and much more. The baskets also offer hope.
"It's about making families feel comfortable with their new diagnosis and now their new journey which is amazing. It's such a life changing experience, but always in a positive way," said Jack's Basket Advocate, Nicole Kunkel.
Kunkel didn't receive a basket when her daughter, Gillian, was born and that's why she is now an advocate for the non-profit.
"I wanted to be able to connect with somebody who has been through what I was going through and I wasn't able to experience that," said Kunkel.
Within the last four years she has delivered twenty-one baskets to deserving families, like the Overlands.
Kristin Overland and her husband didn't have a diagnosis of Down Syndrome before their daughter Clara's birth. They only knew that she was very small.
Overland and Kunkel's paths crossed, all thanks to a wicker basket.
"It was really special and just really meant a lot to us. It was like an actual real hug being welcomed into this community of parents and families with Down Syndrome," explained Kristin Overland, Clara's mom.
To learn more about Jack's Basket.
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