This first image is a throwback to November of 2015, when a spray-painted line and foundation for the central statue were the only hints of change to come. Since that time, Wings of Hope has been blessed by the generosity of community members. We have been able to grow from those stark white lines to the beautiful walkway, carving, benches, and surrounding trees and flowers.
More than that, though, we have been able to keep growing in community awareness and involvement. But we still have so far to go.
We can't go back and undo the loss. As much as we pray, beg, and plead, we can't change the road we traveled when we heard those words - "There is no heartbeat". But we can make a difference for all of the families who we know will unfortunately be the 1 in 4 who endure the loss of a child in pregnancy - and Wings of Hope needs your help!
Unfortunately, we too often hear of stories from moms and dads who said they wish they would have known... The information often comes too late, if at all, for what to expect and how to do things such as collect the remains of your child, arrange for the remains to go to the mortuary if chosen, collect keepsake information of your child, and more.
We are in the preliminary stages of putting together care packages for these families, hopefully to be distributed by medical staff, midwives, and caregivers. Examples of items we are considering adding to these packages include:
Every situation is different, and not all moms will have remains, want to consider this option, or feel comfortable doing things such as take measurements. What we want to do is let moms know that they can if they want to take these steps. We don't want to keep hearing stories of I wish I would have known...
Please help us by sharing what you wish you would have known... what resources you wish were available in a do-over.
We can't turn back the clocks on our own losses, but we can help make sure that the next mom who endures this loss has the tools and resources she needs.
Comment here on our blog, on Facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you visited the Wings of Hope site yet? When you go, you'll see pavers that honor the life of a child. You'll see pavers given in memory of family members. You'll see pavers engraved with messages of support. And you will also see many more pavers that are yet to be engraved.
The Paver Project
We need your help to fill these pavers with messages and names. The Paver Project is our summer push to get as many pavers engraved as possible by fall. Doing so does two very important things:
Get as many people together as possible to help get these pavers engraved! Below are just a few ways to join the Paver Project this summer.
Ready to show your support for Wings of Hope? Order your own embroidered shirt today! The soft grey t-shirt has our logo embroidered on the front in purple, and is available in adult sizes S, M, L, XL, and XXL.
All proceeds from the shirt orders go towards expenses for Wings of Hope, which include just under $3000 left to pay on the existing site. We would love to be able to complete this payment by fall, before our next Evening of Remembrance, and we need your help. After we complete our payment on the site, we are ready to move forward with additional projects in the community, including fundraising for Cuddle Cots for local hospitals, support kits for moms who experience pregnancy loss, and more!
Print, complete, and mail your order form to Julie (our committee member), at the address provided. The $20 fee includes shipping to your home address.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the Evening of Remembrance possible, and to everyone who attended. Pastor Mike delivered a comforting message, and musicians Pam and Amy provided beautiful songs of remembrance for the evening.
We also want to thank everyone who came and shared their personal grief journeys with us. We are forever touched by your stories, your presence, and the love you have for your child.
As our committee continues to plan for the Evening of Remembrance on May 11th at 6:00 pm and meet with the pastor who will lead, the musicians, and members of the community who are assisting, we carry all of you who will be attending in our hearts and thoughts.
We understand that you might have questions about what to expect from the Evening of Remembrance, especially if you are a family who will be burying or honoring a child. The following are some of the details you might be wondering about - but might not know how to ask. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
507-519-0158 (ask for Chris - Wings of Hope Chair)
Please join us on Thursday, May 11th at 6:00 pm at the Wings of Hope memorial site in Calvary Cemetery - Mankato - for an Evening of Remembrance.
Pastor Michael Omtvedt from Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato will lead the service. The memorial service is ecumenical – it will include a burial service for families who have recently lost a child in miscarriage, music, prayers, special readings, reflection, and an opportunity for all who have experienced pregnancy loss or newborn death to recognize the lives of their children.
As we did in our first Evening of Remembrance, we will invite all families who have been touched by pregnancy loss and newborn death to place a flower at the burial urn (we will provide flowers, but you may also bring your own if you would like).
Not all families who lose children in pregnancy have remains to bury, or perhaps you have buried your child elsewhere, but we want to make sure you know that you are invited - this service is for you, too. So whether your loss was recent or decades ago, please know that this memorial and this place is for you.
Musicians for the service will be vocalist Amy Kuch and guitarist Pam Schultze.
We will have limited seating available at the site. You are free to bring your own lawn chairs or stand for the service (we anticipate approximately 30-45 minutes). Following the service we invite you to join us for light refreshments at the site.
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.
Thanks to the generosity of a volunteer we now have a limited stock of Rainbow Baby Gear available for order! For those of you who want a way to celebrate a new life while honoring the life of a little one in heaven, these onesies, t-shirts, and long-sleeved shirts can help you do that. All proceeds go to help support Wings of Hope. Each item is $10 and includes shipping and handling.
PLEASE NOTE: This was a test run of colors and sizes so we only have limited stock on hand. If you want to place an order, please email us to let us know which one so we can set it aside (for most we only have one size/color in stock). When these are gone - they are gone - but we will be putting together a new order form in the future.
We are continuing to plan our next Evening of Remembrance, and want to share more of the details with you. Pastor Michael Omtvedt, from Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, will be leading our service for the evening. The service is ecumenical – and will include music, prayers, special readings, and reflection. Musicians for the service will be vocalist Amy Kuch and guitarist Pam Schultze.
We will have limited seating available at the site. You are free to bring your own lawn chairs or stand for the service (we anticipate approximately 30 minutes). Following the service we invite you to join us for light refreshments at the site.
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.