HOUSTON -- Randall's Food Markets here has reached out to the Chukwu family by providing them with a year's worth of free groceries.
The eight children of Nkem and Iyke Chukwu, naturalized American citizens originally from Nigeria, made national news when they were born at Texas Children's Hospital last month. One of the baby girls was born Dec. 8, while the remaining five girls and two boys were delivered by Caesarean section Dec. 20.
The smallest of the children, Baby Odera, a girl who weighed only 10.3 ounces, died on Dec. 27 of heart and lung failure. The surviving children are still listed in critical condition.
Kathy Lussier, director of public relations at Randall's, told SN the chain delivered 52 $100 gift certificates to the family by certified mail Dec. 22.
"When I saw the report on the news I immediately said Randall's has got to do something. We are a grocer and the family is going to need food. These are Houston babies and their birth is a miracle," Lussier said.
Lussier said anonymous donors have already donated diapers and formula, so Randall's determined that $100 a week should be sufficient for food.
"We just figured that would be one less thing that they would have to worry about. We are known for groceries, and that is how we can help them out," Lussier said.
Lussier said the family can also use the gift certificates to buy prepared food, baby lotion and baby food.
Randall's also sent the new mom one of its signature Pamper Yourself gift baskets from the floral department.
Randall's has received national attention for its effort, although Lussier said that is not why Randall's decided to help the family.
"Even if we didn't receive any publicity, this was the right thing to do. We need more corporations to come forward to help not only this family, but any family that is faced with a serious need -- whether it is a family that has eight babies or a family that has a sick child.