My daughter was stillborn earlier this year and the people involved with Angel Names have been very helpful and supportive of my husband and myself. The mission of helping bereaved parents both emotionally and financially, as well as funding medical research is a wonderful way to honor all of our lost children.
Even in today's world of the internet and multi-media the topic of stillborn children is still taboo to many people. Angel Names Association has helped many families deal with hardship. As a grandmother of a stillborn child I find the annual walk a very helpful tool in dealing with this tragedy. Without shame or embarrassment we all openly cry, laugh and share stories of how this affects every member of our families. Without the help of Angel Names many parents would not be able to afford to lay their stillborn child to rest. Angel Names gives them the peace of mind to know that some one does really care about that child and their well being also. Even in today's economy, Angel Names Association is the only nonprofit that I will whole heartedly support and encourage my friends and family to do also.
This charity is one of the best charities there is! Angel Names has helped my family honor my daughter every year at the walk. Being around people who have had the same experience as you makes you feel humbled and honored. Without the help of Angel Names, not many people would be able to lay their babies to rest because of the amount of money it costs to do so. All of the people who volunteer for Angel Names are all there to help anyone out.
Angel Names Association provides crucial services to bereaved families. I admire the founding members for gathering their strength after a personal tragedy and starting such a dynamic organization. Angel Names gives comfort and resources to families that have suffered through stillbirth, promotes awareness of the emotional, medical and financial issues surrounding stillbirth and funds research into the causes of stillbirth. Through its multifaceted mission, Angel Names Association touches many lives and gives immediate and sustaining support to those who have been devastated by the loss of an stillborn child.
For the past four years, I have attended Angel Names Association's events -- Still Parent's Luncheon and Memorial Walk. Being a father of a stillborn child, these events help my family and myself beyond words. ANA gives me the opportunity to share the few memories of my child with others who have faced the same tragic loss.
In October of 2000, my husband and I suffered the stillbirth of our first child, Nicholas, at 37 weeks gestation. Nicholas was perfect and beautiful, and had died when the umbillical cord became tied around his neck. We wanted to do something to help others who endure the tragedy of stillbirth. We realized how blessed we were to have the support of friends and family to enable us to provide a loving memorial to our son, and that not everyone was that fortunate. We founded ANA in May of 2001, six months after Nicholas' stillbirth. Our programs help families with expenses related to the baby's death (autopsy, funeral, burial, headstone, etc.), and provide additional funding for needy families seeking grief counseling related to the baby's death. ANA's End Stillbirth Fund supports stillbirth research, and educational programs inform healthcare providers, funeral directors, the community and bereaved families to understand the complexities of grief related to infant death, and to bettetr support those who are grieving. Programs honoring parents (Still Parents Luncheon) and giving families and the community a forum to remember their loved ones (Annual Memorial Walk) help ANA to pursue its mission to support families who have endured the tragedy of pregnancy loss and infant death.
After being involved in the care of several women who have experienced losses (as a health care provider I saw a need for support with grieving,burial expenses and returning to family and work.Angel Names also interfaces with businesses to assist employees in dealing with how to welcome back to work those families who have had a loss.
In September of 2009 my son called to say that his unborn baby had a condition incompatible with life. In October our local newspaper ran an article about Angel Names Association. The founder, Michelle Mosca, encouraged people to call her if they needed information about her organization or any help with infant death aftermath. I got up the courage to call and Michelle helped me to deal with the emotional issues I would face. Our family did not need any financial support, but the emotional support was priceless.
I joined ANA's board of directors approximately five years ago--about six months after my sister gave birth to a stillborn son whom she named John Joseph or "JJ" for short. I came upon ANA at a Interagency Awareness Day. They had just what I had been looking for--books for my nephews to help cope with the sudden loss of their baby brother. Michelle Mosca, the President and founder of Angel Names Associatin was at the booth and by the end of our conversation, we were both crying. They not only had the books I had been searching for but I ended up joining their board! My sister had been struggling to scrape together enough money for a headstone so I gave her an application for a grant from ANA to help defray the cost of the headstone. She had wanted to get it in by his first birthday. Well, ANA came through for her and JJ's headstone was placed by his first birthday!! ANA has granted many families money to help defray the costs of the funeral, burial, headstone, grief counseling and if necessary, an autopsy. These are all expenses that these families have not planned for or saved for. I am proud to say that I serve as a board member for ANA because we affect a family's life every day. We coninue to get more and more requests for help from all over the country and sadly, we can't always be there to help but we do our best to try to help the family in some way. My sister and brother-in-law's life has been changed in a helpful, compassionate way and I will continue to serve on the board as long as I can. Angel Names Association is a good solid organization and as I said I am proud to be serving families at one of the most tragic times in their lives.
I found ANA in 2003 when my first born was stillborn. I was devestated. Michele welcomed my husband to the board and let us begin healing by helping others. Just having the support of others who had been through a similar loss was invaluable. Being able to continue to help and meet more people continues to be rewarding and helps me cope with my loss even now, 7 years later.