Why We Do

What We Do

Our community partners make it possible for us to dream a bigger dream. The DFI team is proud to work with local organizations to give back in various ways through fundraising, clothing drives, and more. By partnering with Renown Health and the Adopt a Vet Dental Program, we are able to make a larger impact in Reno-Tahoe by making dreams come true for individuals, families, and organizations in our community.

5th Annual NICU Pajama Drive

For the past four years, Sarah Carmona Zink and the Dreams Foundation have staged a fundraising and baby item drive to give back to the Neonatal ICU that took care of Carmona Zink’s son, Howie, during a difficult time for the family.

“During Howie’s stay, the NICU staff was an extension of our family and cared so deeply for all of us. Our goal through this drive has always been to give back to those who gave so much to us, as well as provide a sense of normalcy to parents with babies in the NICU. During these unprecedented times, providing comfort and relief to parents is more important than ever,” said Carmona Zink.

The 5th annual PJ drive launched on February 14 and runs through March 14. You can purchase items for the NICU from the Amazon Gift List or make a monetary donation at Dreams Foundation Inc. or Renown Health Foundation. All donations will directly benefit the NICU at Renown Children’s Hospital.

Greg Walaitis, Chief Development Officer for Renown says, “We are extremely grateful to Sarah and the Dreams Foundation for their generous donation to our NICU. Donations like these help ensure we have plenty of items on hand when our babies and their families need them. This donation allows parents with babies in our NICU to focus solely on their baby’s health, rather than material needs that may come up along the way. It is an honor to be the recipient of such an amazing act of kindness.”

About Renown Health

Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

Adopt a Vet
Dental Program (AAVD)

Adopt a Vet Dental Program (AAVD) identifies and qualifies each case, then seeks appropriate dental care for the qualified veteran. All dental services are provided pro bono to qualifying veterans. This is only possible because of the extensive services donated by volunteer dentists.

And the labs who help subsidize or completely cover the lab expenses associated with each veteran’s treatment.

4th Annual NICU
Onesie Drive

Through this year’s donation drive, Carmona Zink collected the following items for Renown’s NICU:
  • 682 receiving blankets
  • 532 pairs of pajamas
  • 180 hand-knitted baby beanies
  • 50 nursing pillows
  • 8 sleep sacks
  • 473 scent pads, which parents keep on their skin and then leave with their baby so he/she can be comforted by their parents’ scent
  • Books for siblings to read while visiting
  • Miscellaneous items such as pumping storage bottles, bibs, baby hand covers, newborn socks, mobiles, and nursing pillow covers
  • $10,500 monetary donation from the Dreams Foundation.

Renown Health Foundation announced today a special delivery from Sarah Carmona Zink and her Dreams Foundation, donating hundreds of pajamas, receiving blankets, beanie caps, nursing pillows and more, as well as a check for $10,500 for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Renown Children’s Hospital.

For the past three years, Carmona Zink and the Dreams Foundation have staged a fundraising and baby item drive to give back to the NICU that took care of Carmona Zink’s son, Howie, during a difficult time for the family.

“Our NICU drive is inspired by Howie, who just turned 4,” said Carmona Zink. “He spent about a month in Renown’s NICU because he was born with gastroschisis, a condition where his intestines formed on the outside of his body. During Howie’s stay, the NICU staff was an extension of our family and cared so deeply for all of us. Our goal through this drive has always been to give back to those who gave so much to us, as well as provide a sense of normalcy to parents with babies in the NICU. During these unprecedented times, providing comfort and relief to parents is more important than ever.”

Dr. Max Coppes, Physician-in-Chief of Renown Children’s Hospital and Larry Duncan, Administrator of Renown Children’s Hospital add, “We are truly blessed with the support for the very smallest residents of Renown Children’s Hospital, some weighing less than a pound! Sarah and her family inspire us to remain devoted to the children we serve, knowing that the community is committed to our Children’s Hospital.”

“We look forward to this donation drive every year,” said Renown NICU nurse Jessica Bakke. “The work Sarah and her team do to collect these items is very meaningful to all of us. We don’t always have funds to purchase extra items like clothing, blankets and nursing pillows, so everything we receive through this drive makes a difference for our babies and their families. It is a wonderful gift to be able to offer fresh clothing and other much-needed items to help these parents.”

Greg Walaitis, Chief Development Officer for Renown says, “We are extremely grateful to Sarah and the Dreams Foundation for their generous donation to our NICU. Donations like these help ensure we have plenty of items on hand when our babies and their families need them. This donation allows parents with babies in our NICU to focus solely on their baby’s health, rather than material needs that may come up along the way. It is an honor to be the recipient of such an amazing act of kindness for the third year in a row.”