Forget-Me-Not Baskets

a quick word from: Marlin Miller

I learned recently how many families have to say goodbye to a baby prematurely due to miscarriage or stillbirth. I knew the percentage was high, but I was shocked! One in four! For every four babies who are born, one is lost. I struggle for the words to convey my concern for all the Dads that find themselves in this spot. You have to be strong for your wife and yet you must grieve the loss on your own. Please don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that I don’t care about the Moms, but the reality is when people learn of a loss, they invariably gravitate to the woman. I fear the men are forgotten and I want to say to them that you are not forgotten. Hang in there and know they simply beat you Home! 

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words by: Elaine Tomski

One of the loneliest aches tucked inside a mother or father’s heart arrives when they lose a child. Families who experience loss during pregnancy, birth, or soon after birth need our support and care. Forget-Me-Not Baskets exists to provide items of comfort, peace, and remembrance to such grieving families. Nothing will ever replace a life lost. Forget-Me-Not Baskets simply provides families something to see and hold, a touchable reminder of the precious child they hoped for.

Founded in 2007 by Sara Ringle, Forget-Me-Not Baskets is a non-profit organization based in Wooster, Ohio. It began with one basket, placed in one hospital by one mom’s group with hopes of comforting a young mother. Soon the hospital put the basket into empty arms and called to request another basket. There was no original plan to create a non-profit organization, but God opened the door to a flood of need, so Sara and her crew followed his lead. Sara says, “We never know who receives our items. We donate our baskets in bulk to hospitals, and they give them away. It doesn’t matter if someone is eight days or eight months pregnant. Our hope is that women know they’re not alone.”

Now families in twenty-four states have received comfort from items purchased and shipped from the online store. In addition, 5,300 baskets have been donated to hospitals and other locations. Forget-Me-Not Baskets has placed items in hospitals, emergency rooms, and OB/GYN offices and will continue to expand its reach as financial support allows. Sara says, “We are excited to have recently donated items to birthing centers in plain communities.”

Tragically, one in four pregnancies ends with a miscarriage or stillbirth, making the work of Forget-Me-Not Baskets even more essential. The baskets, boxes, and bags they assemble and donate to hospitals can also be purchased and shipped by you from their online store to someone in need. Because mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and grandparents grieve differently, Forget-Me-Not Baskets provides thoughtful remembrance items for each of them.

Included in some of the baskets are books created by women in the plain community. Clara Nisley’s book Safe in the Arms of Jesus ($13.95) includes eighty-five stories of pregnancy/infant loss in the plain community. Ruth Troyer offers a memory book, Too Special to Stay ($14.00), so that families can record and remember their precious little ones who were stillborn or died shortly after birth.

Do you know mothers with children in heaven are remembered each year on the Sunday before Mother’s Day? This year, Bereaved Mother’s Day falls on May 2nd, and Forget-Me-Not Baskets will host their first Bereaved Mother’s Brunch. When women who carry the same loss come together to share stories, tears, and laughter, they leave stronger. There is no need to suffer in silence. Forget-Me-Not’s grief support program is gracefully named Loved…Lost…Remembered.

 

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For more information, to purchase a basket or book, to create a fundraiser, or to donate, please call or write:

Forget-Me-Not Baskets     //     127 E. Liberty Street, Suite 390, Wooster, Ohio 44691

330-435-6004     //     www.forgetmenotbaskets.com

 

 

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This story was published in the May 2021 issue of Plain Values magazine, CLICK HERE to subscribe today.

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