The true meaning of Christmas

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Every year, at this time, I try to find something that means something to me, and a way to make a difference to someone whose Christmas is not as magical and blessed as my own.

Last year, we helped out a family who were struggling to find money to feed and buy any gifts for their children. The year before, we sponsored a child through World Vision.

This year, I was really affected by the story of Kristie and Avery. On July 14 2011, Avery was stillborn. The grief that Kristie continues to experience, the unimaginable pain she has endured this year, broke my heart. I don't know Kristie, I know only what I read, but it takes a special person to reach out, in the midst of their pain and offer a suggestion on how to make things better. This post does just that. And it was that post that inspired me, and showed me who I wanted to make my charitable donation to this Christmas.

I had read about the organisation, Heartfelt, before, and always admired the powerful work they do. Heartfelt is a volunteer staffed photographic company, that give the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature and ill infants and children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals, as well as children with serious and terminal illnesses. Heartfelt is dedicated to providing this gift to families in a caring, compassionate and heartfelt manner. You can read more about their work on their website, but you can imagine that when you are going through this, you aren't thinking about creating memories, you aren't thinking about that moment down the track when you think "I wish I had gotten a photo..." But these people are. The cost of a session is only $40. That's such a small amount for something that means SO much. You can donate here.

I had not, however, read about Little Angel Memory Boxes before. These are beautiful ways to honor the loss of a baby, and to create a memorial for the families in grief. Each Memory Box includes:
*Memorial Seeds
*Knitted blanket or Baby Wrap
*LAMB Keepsake Journal- which includes space for parents to record some of their child most precious memories, including hand and foot prints, photos, poems, hospital cards and other special memories.
*Information about creating those final precious moments.

Their service does not stop there, though. They offer a firm support network, to people grieving the loss of a child. Again, one of these boxes is worth just $40. I think that looking at the candle, planting some seeds in your lost childs memory, and recording your thoughts in a journal for some kind of therapy, some desperate way to make sense of chaos, would be worth so much more to someone experiencing this. You can donate to LAMB here.

I am really grateful, that I have never had to experience anything as wrenching as the loss of a child, I cannot even imagine it, I don't ever want to have to. I am so lucky to be excited for Christmas, with 2 healthy, beautiful children, and only good memories. I hope that my small offering is enough to help someone out, it won't be much, but it's the least I can do.

Merry Christmas.


Kristie said...

Thank you so much Kelly xx

Lib said...

What a wonderful idea. We had a heartfelt photographer at work yesterday. What at absoltuley selfless service they offer.

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