March 28th, 2017
As we get ready for another Evening of Remembrance and a second Design & Wine fundraiser, we want to take this time to thank everyone for the continued support of Wings of Hope. We have come so far since those painted outlines on the grass and dreams on the dry erase board in our committee meeting.
We still have much to do - and more goals to reach. This includes approximately $3000 to finish paying for the memorial, the annual costs for engraved markers with the month and year of the common burial (with one marker between two burial plots), monthly expenses for printing brochures and other materials, expenses associated with each Evening of Remembrance, candlelight vigil, and other events, and goals and projects to further the mission of Wings of Hope. These include things like donations of Cuddle Cots to the local hospitals - so families can have as much time saying hello to their little ones before they have to say a final good-bye.
How can you help Wings of Hope?
There are several ways you can help us meet our needs and reach our goals.
Enduring a Miscarriage at Home
No matter where or when pregnancy loss occurs – there are physical, mental, and emotional issues facing mothers. We have heard from so many moms who just did not feel that they understood what it was going to be like – enduring a miscarriage at home – which only made this time in their lives all the more painful.
Sometimes referred to in the medical community as expectant management, waiting for a miscarriage to occur at home after the doctor has delivered the devastating news that your child has died is like waiting on a lonely road for a deadly car crash you know will happen before your eyes. You feel helpless and out of control. Many women are sent home from medical offices with condolences and instructions to call the office after passing large clots, or prepare to experience what will feel like a heavy menstrual cycle with cramping.
Too often we just don’t know how to actually prepare – and respond.
So – let’s change that.
For mothers who choose, Wings of Hope does offer the common burial option for babies who die earlier than 20 weeks gestation. You can request a moisture-proof container from your physician for the purposes of transporting your child’s remains to the mortuary. Small, waterproof containers you might have at your home can work as well You must call the Mankato Mortuary (Riverfront Drive location) to make arrangements and this will include signing a release form to participate in the burial option.
Please let us know what questions you have - let's keep the conversation going in our efforts to provide the resources we know women in our community need!
Celebrating the Firsts
Losing a child during pregnancy can make you feel like you lose all of the "firsts", too. First smiles, first steps, first words, and first birthdays. It is easy to focus on those firsts we lose because we were planning a whole lifetime of firsts, seconds, and more. While they may not be the traditional "firsts", it can be comforting to think about, share memories of, and maybe record in a scrapbook the firsts that you did get to experience with your child.
There are many tough questions - and answers - families often face when experiencing pregnancy loss. The following are some of the most common questions we hear about the common burial program offered through Wings of Hope. Please let us know what other questions you might have about this program, or other aspects of Wings of Hope. We need your help to make this organization as beneficial as possible for families in Southern MN.
What is a common burial? The phrase common burial in terms of pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation refers to burying more than one set of remains together in one burial vault. Babies lost after 20 weeks gestation are not allowed in MN to be buried in the same vault.
What does it cost to participate in the common burial? Wings of Hope, in conjunction with Calvary Cemetery, Mankato Mortuary, and other supporters, help to provide the burial at no cost to families. We rely on donations, paver orders, and fundraisers to support the services of Wings of Hope.
Do I have to buy a paver if I have my child’s remains buried at the site? No. The engraved pavers do offer many families a tangible way to honor the lives of their children. The pavers are also opportunities for family, friends, and community members to help support these families and Wings of Hope.
When are the burials at the memorial site? We currently have them scheduled for twice each year – the 2nd Thursday in May and the 1st Tuesday in October – at 6:00 p.m.
Where are the common burial plots? The plots encircle the central Wings of Hope statue and walkway. They will be marked with the date (month and year) of common burial.
How are my child’s remains buried? If you choose to participate in the Wings of Hope common burial service, representatives from Mankato Mortuary will respectfully place your child’s remains into a burial vault. We have a dear volunteer who sews burial blankets that enclose remains individually. The vault is sealed and then buried after the remembrance service.
*The information presented here are not intended to provide or replace legal or medical advice or regulations.
In the Dark
This is the time of year in Minnesota when we do so much in the dark. Some travel to and from work when it is still dark. If we grocery shop past 4:30 we're unloading those bags in the dark. And even though there might be Christmas lights twinkling in the distance, it can still feel cold, dark, and lonely, especially if you are moving through the holiday season while missing your child.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to stop by the Wings of Hope site in Calvary Cemetery (the gates are open 7 days a week sunrise to sunset). Nestled between evergreens you will find this place of warm remembrance. Bring a cup of coffee or cocoa and sit on the benches. Read the poignant paver inscriptions. Bring a friend and talk about your baby. Most of all, know that you are not alone in your grief journey. As we come together as a community and learn to support each other, we realize that we are not just alone in the dark, and we can be that light for someone else who needs it.
These keepsake ornaments made just for Wings of Hope honor the loss of multiple babies, and will be available at our booth at the Holiday Expo. Remembrance items like this can help families find a way to honor the memory of their little angels during the holidays.
Thank you to everyone who is coming together so that our first booth at the Holiday Expo can be a success - in both fundraising and creating awareness of Wings of Hope!
A Gift to Honor Loss
Moms are not the only ones affected by miscarriage and newborn death, and these handmade Christmas ornaments that will be for sale at our booth are evidence of that. These were made for Wings of Hope by a woman who has lost grand-babies to miscarriage - and who has other families and friends who have also experienced loss.
The wonderful woman who made these for us said she put soft down in four of them to represent angel feathers, and the other four have glitter. Reminders of babies, angels, and wishes on stars.
Donations like these not only help Wings of Hope, but they can make great gifts for those in your life who you maybe just don't know how to say, "I remember, too."
We continue to prepare for the Holiday Expo on the 19th of November, and this winter scene will be there waiting for someone to take it home! It measures about 15" x 10" and can either hang on a wall or be used as a table top decoration - $9 and it is yours.
We hope to see you there on the 19th, shopping from 9-4 and helping us reach our fundraising goals! Questions? Email us or give us a call at 507-519-0158.
Have someone who loves to camp on your holiday shopping list? How about these pine cone fire-starters we have available for our craft and bake sale?! Set in wax with a candle wick woven through the pine cone, those outdoor enthusiasts will love the ease they have of starting their next bonfire! Just $0.75/each - and you can pre-order yours today if you can't make it to the sale on the 19th.
How about a gift to pamper someone (including yourself)? We also have these peppermint bath salts made with essential oils - just $4/jar - and you can pre-order these today, too!
We are getting more items ready for our fundraising efforts at the Holiday Expo on Saturday, November 19th in Mankato at the Madison East Center. Keep checking our site for updates and sneak peeks. Hope to see you there on the 19th!
The Wings of Hope committee continues to prepare for the craft and bake sale on November 19th! This is the first time we will be participating in the annual event at the Madison East Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where vendors of all kinds will have tables set up with their handmade designs, crafts, and delicious baked goods. Come and shop for a good cause at our booth and help support families in Southern MN who experience pregnancy and newborn loss. All proceeds from the sale at our booth go to Wings of Hope and the services we provide.
Have something to share that we can add to our booth? We still need donations of crafts of all kinds and baked goods - please consider helping us reach our fundraising goals! And remember, you can shop early by looking at the items we have already available on our blog and sending us an email to let us know what you would like!
The members of our committee have all been on the journey of pregnancy loss, but in different ways. Learn more about why they are all so passionate about bringing awareness and comfort to families who lose a child during pregnancy.