A few weeks ago, you read here about a charity program called Matthew’s Gift. This program puts together memory boxes for babies who were born (and gone) too soon. I was moved to share the story of this program with readers, knowing there are so many who would want to help.
While I was researching Matthew’s Gift, I learned that its founder Melissa had been inspired to begin this group by another mother who lost her baby and wanted to bring something good from it. Her name was Amanda, and she founded Owen’s Gift.
When you read about Owen’s Gift, you’ll probably recognize many of the elements because Melissa was inspired by this group for her own group. In Amanda’s own words, here is what Owen’s Gift is all about.
“Owen’s Gift is a page to help provide a small comfort in the form of handmade baby items to grieving families during a stilbirth and early infant death. This project was created to honor our son Owen Issac Plunkett, who was diagnosed prenatally with Limb Body Wall Complex, which is a disorder characterized by severe limb defects and anterior wall defects. There is no cure and the disorder is 100% incompatible with life outside the womb.
“Strange as it may sound, one of my first thoughts after the initial shock was ‘what am I going to dress him in if he is born too soon?’ Thankfully I have some friends that know how to knit and crochet and made some teeny tiny clothing for him. That comforted me knowing he would have something that fit him even if he was born now and so tiny.
“One morning around 4 a.m., I couldn’t sleep, and I began thinking of all the other woman who have miscarriages, stillbirths, and early infant loss. What would they put their babies in? I looked online. The demand for very small baby clothes is not great, and I could only find few sites that had what looked like sewn doll clothes.
“My idea was born…to get help from others who an sew, crochet, and knit and create a variety of sizes of hats, booties, blankets, clothing, and cocoons for parents in hospitals who do not get to take their babies home.
“I am asking for help to make all these items even one can make a huge difference for a grieving family. Please share this page with others who know how to sew, knit, or crochet.
“I am currently putting together small boxes with handmade items as well as a small book to Mott Children’s hospital as that is where Owen will be born. I hope to get enough donations that I will be able to donate to other hospitals in the Eastern Michigan area.”
How You Can Help
Amanda has laid out perfectly exactly what is needed for Owen’s Gift: lots of tiny clothing and accessories. With these, she puts together memory boxes to commemorate bereaved parents’ loss. You’ll want to visit Owen’s Gift’s Facebook page; here you can ask any questions you may have about the group, current needs, how to get items to the group, and so on.
This is a great opportunity for anyone living in Michigan or Ohio (or who once lived there, have family who lives there, or simply care about these folks for any reason) to reach out to bereaved parents. I’ve read countess times that more than anything, a family who has lost a baby feels very alone. This is a wonderful way to show you care and that they are NOT alone.
If this is a cause that touches your heart, I hope you’ll join Owen’s Gift!