Kids & Family

Family Gives Back Through Book Drive For Preemies

They read to baby Bennett in the NICU. Now they're making sure other families have the same experience.


Bennett Andrew Snarey has so many things to accomplish in his life, he decided to come into this world a little early. Bennett was born on Feb 26, 2019, 15 weeks early, weighing just 2 lb. 5 oz.

Bennett had a few hurdles in his first several months. These included working to get off the ventilator that helped his tiny lungs breathe and surgery on his tiny little heart to close up a hole.

After 10 days, Bennett started to open his eyes! What beautiful things he saw! Mommy and Daddy! Mommy and Daddy reading books to him too!! Throughout all the tests and wires and pokes and prodding, his parents, my friends Heather and Bobby made sure to read at least one book to baby Bennett every day.

July 5, 2019, after 132 days in the NICU, Bennett graduated and came home -- on oxygen, a feeding tube, monitor, and breathing treatments. It was a sad but happy day saying good bye to the wonderful staff at Children's Hospital of Orange County, CA (CHOC).

At home Bennett has made great strides in being able to breathe without oxygen, having a feeding tube removed and trying things like pureed bananas and all that other great food! By the time Halloween rolled around Mommy put him in a pumpkin! And every day, someone is reading a book to Bennett.

In November Mommy and Daddy decided to help Bennett give back to CHOC NICU and started a book drive so that other babies in the NICU could have books to look at while waiting to grow enough to go home.

These days Bennett's heart is working perfectly and the hole has healed. He is sitting up for longer periods of time unassisted. He has two bottom teeth, loves to laugh and giggle and talk to strangers and loves to make everyone smile!

Lately when the Snareys go for Bennett's therapy the NICU bookshelf is sometimes empty, so Benny would like to give back and buy more books for other babies. So far, generous friends have donated 736 books to CHOC through Bennett's book drive, with a target of 1,000 books!

How can you start something good?

If you would like to donate towards the CHOC resource library, Heather Snarey is still collecting money and buying new books. You can reach her at: Bringmedunkin@yahoo.com. Donations can also be made at the familiy's GoFundMe page, or sent to Venmo@bobby-Snarey

CHOC only accepts new books to assist in a germ free environment.

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