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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Infants Remembered in Silence Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Health, Human Services, Mental Health

Mission: Mission Statement: Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS), a nonprofit organization, supplements the care given by the medical, mental health, and religious communities by providing resources and referral information, support and education to parents, family, friends, and professionals after a child dies in early pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, miscarriage, etc.) or from stillbirth, neo-natal death, birth defects, illness, accident, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), and all other types of infants and early childhood death

Results: IRIS was founded in 1987. Some of our unique services are available world wide. We estimate that in the last 30 years we have assisted over 100,000 mothers, fathers, grandparents, family members, and friends following the death of a child.

Target demographics: Parents who have had a child die at any gestational age through early childhood, from all causes.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6000 - 7000 people

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: IRIS Advocate Program: This unique program was developed in 1987 and offers: ~ Doula services (labor coach), assistance with answering questions that parents, family, and friends have. ~ Provides Burial Clothing for infants 8 - 42 gestational weeks ~ Assistance with creating keepsakes such as hand and foot prints, sculptures, giving the child a bath, dressing, pictures, etc. ~ Provides assistance with service/funeral options and suggestions ~ Newsletters ~ Website ~ Facebook pages, and more.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

IRIS is great! Truly the reason my husband and I learned to live again after the loss of our daughter. The staff is amazing. They truly care about you & your baby no matter the age at death. Still birth is often a taboo subject swept under a rug & IRIS is there to celebrate that life no matter how short. Truly the best organization I've ever experienced.

Comments ( 1 )

I.R.I.S. Thank you for your kind words about IRIS, our staff, and volunteers. Your very right, having a child die is a "taboo" subject, it is often swept under the rug ...but not here. IRIS is honored to celebrate every child regardless of his/her gestation age or age. It is an honor for us to work with the child that has died, the parents, family, and friends. As our Executive Director Diana Sundwall says "Some children are to perfect to stay".

Kristy A.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

October 7, 2016 our world was turned upside down when at 19 weeks gestation my water broke. I was pregnant with identical triplet girls, Addison, Averi and Harper. IRIS helped me and my family as we emotionally dealt with the loss of our girls. They helped with the burial and planning. Over the next several months they helped with the roller coaster of emotions a parent deals with after the loss of their child.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IRIS was there for two of my daughters when one lost a son to SIDS and the other a daughter who was stillborn. Two of my grandchildren! Words can't express what it meant to have the care and concern they gave our entire family. This is an incredible organization. Most communities do not have anything close to it. May God continue to bless your efforts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only do I love helping out in the environment, I have made lasting relationships with other volunteers with IRIS. There isn't something I wouldn't do for this outstanding organization.

1 Rachel138

Client Served

Rating: 5

Infants Remembered in Silence is a beacon of light in the darkest of times. when my husband and I had our son stillborn, the day before his due date, we were devastated. Diana from IRIS came up and was very accommodating to our emotional needs. she gave us priceless heirlooms. photos that we would have never thought to take, plaster castings of his hands and feet, a special outfit and blanket to wrap him in, and all her years of knowledge. she helped us prepare emotionally for what to expect when we left the hospital, helped bring in a priest to baptize our baby, and spent a full day with us, only leaving when we felt ready for her to. the best thing about IRIS is they remind you that you aren't alone and with people in various stages of their grief, they show you there is a way to live after loss. without the IRIS foundation my husband and I would be lost, we are forever grateful for Diana and the team of volunteers.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible charity! At the shock of our baby having died in utero, IRIS cake in with so much respect and helped us gear up for planning th funeral and providing information, while giving us beautiful pictures, locks of hair, even plaster molds of our baby's hands and feet. I would be so lost without them!

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Thank You Rachel for you kind words. Hugs.

Tammy126

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is tammy bess, I had a calling to help someone out, and I found IRIS 3 years ago, started to volunteer for them, and seen the amazing job Diana does for mother's and familys, with loss of child. This organization is very much needed for familys,to coop the a loss. God bless you.

DeeAnn B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

IRIS is a wonderful non profit! I lost my infant daughter in 1988 one year after they were formed. The director, Diana Sundwell and all of the volunteers treat each family with care and love. They have heard it all, yet they have hearts of gold. They could have become numb by now, but they are there for each and every family 24/7 with open hearts! They cry with us! They care about us! Everyone matters! We help the families to have closure no matter how the loss occurred!

Client Served

Rating: 5

IRIS offers an invaluable service to the community. There are very few places where you can talk about the death of a child without seeing people cringe. It's been 8 years since my son died and IRIS has helped with the balloon release tags each year. Its been a huge help.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I lost my twins, IRIS was there to provide services, for which, I will forever be grateful. They made memories of my children. - a clip of hair, a cast of their tiny feet and fingers. Pictures and clothing that fit my beautiful, but premature children. Even more, the support received after was life changing. Going through the grief process with others who understood was invaluable. Thank you IRIS!

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

The keepsakes are precious almost as precious as your child. Thank you for allowing IRIS to be a part of your time with them.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal experience started with my granddaughter born almost full term in August 2014. My daughter, her mother, reached out to this organization to help with her grief she was experiencing during this devastating time. I then found them and have been following them on facebook since then. They helped her in areas that I could not. I have not been through a tragedy such as this. I didn't know how to help. This group is full of caring people that have experienced the same things she was going through. With their guidance and kind words she is getting better. I'd love to visit them one day and would love to make plans with my daughter to do so. They are committed to assisting all when this happens to families. The IRIS lantern event that took place last month looked phenominal and peaceful honoring our lost children/grandchildren. They even went over and beyond by sending me back the lantern that they floated and created in honor of my granddaughter. I just want to say Thank You to IRIS for being there and available to so many. Lori Swearingen

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Thank you for your wonderful words. Remember you are never alone in your grief... IRIS is always there to help however we can. The Water Lantern Release was BEAUTIFUL! I hope that you saw all of the pictures and video on FB.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Diana helped my daughter and our family when my Grandson, Alex, was stillborn. We have photos and memorabilia we would not have had otherwise. I have experienced other family members going through miscarriage, early loss, and stillbirth, and the experience was very different without IRIS services. IRIS makes the birth and death a reality, gives legitimacy to the feelings of grief and loss. Thank you, IRIS and Diana!

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Every child that dies needs to be honored and remembered. I am so glad that we were able to help and that we made a very low spot in someones life better. It's nice to know that others care and they they really do understand the feelings that come from such a loss.

2 Coreen M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IRIS was there on the saddest day of my life, delivering a stillborn son, I was terrified, I didn't know what to do. I was scared to touch him, I didn't want to hurt him, They took me by the hand and showed me it was o.k. to touch him. Daddy even gave him a bath and dressed him! I got to hold and snuggle up with him and was able to grieve and say goodbye.
I would not have had the closure and memories I do, if it was not for IRIS.
I felt blessed... even on the saddest day of my life.

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Hugs Coreen. It was an honor for IRIS to be a part of the time you spent with son, not everyone gets the great honor of doing so. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of his life and memory and for your kind words.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Losing a child is a horrific experience-IRIS has been an incredible resource not only to my son's father and I, but to all of those close to us as well.They have helped many of us countless times on our unfortunate journey. They have provided us with information, encouragement, and friendship during our difficult times. We would strongly recommended IRIS for your support needs.

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Pregnancy and Infant Loss is a very personal issue as you can tell by the number of Anonymous reviews. Every family has many members and different needs, IRIS Advocates and volunteers try very to meet all of those needs and provide as much information and support as we can. Your right, it's a horrific experience, one that you would never wish on another person. Know that you are never alone, that we are here to help whenever and however we can.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've needed the support and guidance unfortunately like so many others from IRIS not only for my own losses but watching my brother lose his son also. Diana has helped guide me to find the way through it all and I don't know what I would have done had there not been this resource available when I needed it.

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Thank you for commenting and your kind words. It's an honor to be able to help other grieving parents. We all know the pain of having a child die, because we have walked the horrific road as well. Remember you are never alone, we are here for you and others who suffer the death of a child.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Let me just say that I don't know what I would have done without the help of this organization! They were a tremendous support in helping me cope with the first few hours after my daughter was born sleeping, and even now after 5 years, I would and do still look to them for comfort even if it is just looking at their Web sites or reading a newsletter it helps so much. IRIS will always have my support and I recommend them to others that have went through similar life experiences. My Kennadee, may have been just another baby that had died before birth, to some, but to me and because of the efforts of IRIS she has a place on this earth, even if she wasn't able to physically be in it and never take a breath IRIS made her birth day as special as they could for such a sad day. The pictures , clothes, molds, bathing time, blankets and everything that they gave me will always be cherished and will serves as a reminder of not only my daughter, but the special ,caring people of IRIS.

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Kennadee is real! If others don't get to see, hold, or touch her how would they know? They wouldn't without the keepsakes. Without them knowing about her they would not be able to help support you. IRIS is here to help others to understand how you as a parent feel, to show them how to help, to show them how much you love, to show them how much you grieve. After 5 days most people think you should be back to your old self.... That's never going to happen! You changed the sec. that you became pregnant with Kennadee, your life changed forever ! Why would it go back to the way it was just because she died. It can't because everything had changed. Kennadee made you a parent. You are never going to forget her... how could you forget someone so important and precious. IRIS is here for all parents, never forget that.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love love love this amazing organization. Don't know what I would've done without it when my son passed away. They have been there for me when ever I have needed them.
Diana, from IRIS, took the most amazing pictures of our son once he was delivered. She helped us give him his first bath. She made casts of his hands and feet. Gave us a beautiful blanket to bury him in.
We would have so little left from him without her. She gave us the few memories we do have of him.
Love this organization!

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Thank you for allowing us to be with you when your son died. You have wonderful keepsakes and wonderful memories. Our goal for parents is to one day be able to look back on their time with their child and be able to smile and know that they did the best that they could at the time. Having memories is a very rare and precious thing. I am glad you have so many.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

IRIS was a blessing for our family at the saddest time. We lost our daughter. She was full term and stillborn. They came and took pictures and helped our family make decisions. They even came to be with our daughter before she was taken for an autopsy so I didn't have to feel bad about leaving the hospital. I cherish the pictures that were taken as well as the molds of Lily's hands and feet. None of these things may have been done without IRIS and Diana's help that day and the days after.

Comments ( 2 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Lily is never forgotten. It is always a breathtaking and sad time when leave the hospital. Having a friendly face holding and rocking your child leaves you with a feeling of comfort and the knowledge that she is not alone. There is no greater honor for an IRIS Advocate to be called back to the hospital to do just that. It shows great trust for that Advocate who I am sure rocked Lily and talked or sang to her as you left. I am also sure that she shed many tears as she did so. She knows the feelings all to well and remembers the strength that it took for you to take even one step. We are sure your Advocate was greatly honored to be able to help you with and Lily.

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Lily is never forgotten. It is always a breathtaking and sad time when leave the hospital. Having a friendly face holding and rocking your child leaves you with a feeling of comfort and the knowledge that she is not alone. There is no greater honor for an IRIS Advocate to be called back to the hospital to do just that. It shows great trust for that Advocate who I am sure rocked Lily and talked or sang to her as you left. I am also sure that she shed many tears as she did so. She knows the feelings all to well and remembers the strength that it took for you to take even one step. We are sure your Advocate was greatly honored to be able to help you with and Lily.

1 Diana_S

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When we started Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS) in 1987 (28 years ago) we never dreamed we would be working thousands of people every year! We never dreamed that we would have so many wonderful services to offer grieving parents. Services that I as a bereaved mother would have loved to have had.

Today we offer one on one support, support groups, along with Advocate Services in both hospitals and funeral homes. Advocate Services include assistance with labor and deliver, assist in creating keepsakes such as hand and foot prints, sculptures of hands and feet, and assistance with giving your child a bath. We offer clothing, blankets, and hats that will fit infants from 10 gestational weeks on! We host wonderful events such as the annual Holiday Service of Remembrance that is held on the 1st Sunday in December in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd on Shattuck Campus that everyone is invited to attend, we have the memorial Water Lantern Release, a Common Burial site, and much, much more. The support of this Great Organization truly is something to behold! It is a lifeline for many people, it offers support, assistance, a guiding hand to hold, and a loving hug of understanding in the very long and lonely walk through grief. For more information about IRIS and our services please visit www.irisRemembers.org It is a great honor to provide a 5 star rating to IRIS!

~ Diana Sundwall - Executive Director and Founder
Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc.

2 Belinda7

Client Served

Rating: 5

IRIS helped us in many ways when our daughter passed away to SIDS. They are amazing people. I don't know what we would have done if it had not been for them

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

Thank you so very much for your kinds words!

2 Leann4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's been a hard journey for me, but just with the simple stories and support I got from the Faribault group it's been a little calmer. Back in 1987 when I lost my little angel, (at birth) people didn't talk about the, will anything. The birth, the gender, his name & the reason. Let alone the grieve I was feeling. It's get nice to know someone out there cares.

Comments ( 1 )

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I.R.I.S. 09/14/2015

We do care Leann4! These precious children are very much apart of us and not forgotten!