Lyft and March of Dimes have partnered together to launch a $5,000 pilot program aimed at helping ease transportation hardships for local families at Children’s National in Washington, D.C.
Beginning today, Lyft will provide free rides to families that have babies admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s National. Through the pilot program, 50 families will be identified by the hospital to receive a total of six rides to and from hospital visits.
“At Lyft, we are always looking for meaningful ways to support our local community and make sure all riders have a source of reliable transportation,” said Steve Taylor, Regional Director of Lyft Mid-Atlantic. “One of the many financial burdens families with a baby in the NICU cope with includes transportation costs to and from the hospital. We hope that through this pilot program with March of Dimes, we can ease some of the worries families face and provide them with a reliable way to spend time with their baby.”
Each year in the United States, more than 380,000 babies are born preterm — that’s 1 in 10 babies. Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributor to death in the first year of life in the United States, and the leading cause of death of children under age 5 worldwide. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk for lifelong disabilities.
“Through the work we do every day in support of NICU families, we see first-hand the emotional burden and challenges these families face. Many NICU families live too far from the hospital where their babies are being treated and the cost of transportation to and from the care site only adds to their high level of stress,” says Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes. “This unique and forward-thinking partnership with Lyft allows us to work together to remove at least a small portion of the burden placed on NICU families by allowing them to spend more time by the bedside of their baby, which we know means so much to them at this vulnerable time.”