Mission: First Candle exists to promote infant health and survival during the prenatal period through two years of age. We do this through programs of advocacy, education and research. SIDS, stillbirth and other infant death bereavement services are a critical component of our mission.
Programs: Education, research and family support:first candle's national research program funds projects that meet the highest standards of scientific merit and medical significance in furthering the understanding of sids, stillbirths and other causes of sudden, unexpected infant deaths. First candle supplies comprehensive quality-assured information on infant health and survival to new and expectant parents and the general public through a toll-free information hotline and website. First candle also provides technical assistance, education and training to health professionals and community organizations through workshops and the distribution of brochures and fact sheets. First candle also provides bereavement services to help families through the difficult time after the death of a baby. Through the distribution of grief packets, conferences, referrals to local support services and the website, first candle helps families connect and share experiences. Crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through our toll-free crisis hotline.
advocacy:first candle helps guide national and local political action to ensure that sids, stillbirth and other infant health issues receive adequate awareness and funding.
This organization states that they "have an obligation to our donors and the public to transparently report our activities. We embrace this ethic and provide our most recent audits and IRS Form 990s," yet the most recent IRS 990 is from 2008-2009. On their Charity ratings page they state "First Candle has been given a four star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator." While this was true in the past, the most recent data show a steep decline in that rating, to 2 stars. The information on their website is at best out of date, and at worse purposefully misleading.