Our Family

Our Family
Fall 2015 - These are my people

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Solveig's Boxes - How You Can Help!

This is the letter I just sent via email to family and friends.  I thought I should post it here as well.

Dear Friends & Family,

As you may or may not already know, I have taken on a volunteer project through United Hospital (with full support by my dear Erik!).  The project is to create 100 comfort boxes over the course of this next year for families who have lost babies due to miscarriage, stillbirth or early neonatal death.  Attached to this email is a list of all the items proposed to be a part of the boxes.  I recently put together my "sample" box for the hospital foundation who will approve the box before all 100 of the them can be made.

We received a box much like the ones we are putting together.  It was in our room before we delivered our Solveig Sofia in February.  We looked inside the box and we were so overwhelmed by the generosity of whoever had put this together for us and also overwhelmed that we were in a position to qualify for the need of such a box.  The items in that box helped us to be able to honor our Solveig, and to commemorate her life in the precious few hours that we had with her after she was born still.  

A few weeks after we lost Solveig, we began attending a support group at United for people like us who have lost babies.  The facilitator of the group is named Annette and she has been such a lifeline for us.  I asked Annette where the boxes came from and who had put them together.  She told me that the boxes were made by other people like us who had lost babies.  And she said that they were currently looking for a new person to fill the role for at least the next year.  She wondered if I might be interested.  Well of course I immediately knew that this was a great opportunity and also something that I felt incredibly drawn to.  I prayed about it and really felt God leading me to take on this job, and Erik said that he agreed it would be good for me and he was in full support of it.

So here I am!  I'm both excited and honored to be heading up this project in honor of our daughter and all the other little babies whose lives are so short lived.  As you will see when you look at the attached paper with the box contents, you will notice that to create 100 boxes there is quite a price tag totaling an estimated cost of around $6400.  I've done my best to get as many deals and donations as I can while trying to keep the contents very special, purposeful and of good quality.  The hospital foundation helps to support the project, and they have a specific fund just for this project.  Needless to say, that fund needs continued donations in order to continue on.  

If you feel led to help with this project, there are four ways you can do that:

1.  You can pray for the individuals/families who will be receiving the boxes...for comfort, strength, peace, encouragement, healing...

2.  You can pay me directly and I will put the money towards the items that I need to purchase for the boxes.  I won't have to ask the hospital to refund me for these funds which are donated towards me.  That is what I do otherwise - I purchase items and they will refund me.

3.  You can donate to the hospital foundation.  Here's the information for that - 

Make your check to - "United Hospital Foundation"
**Please make sure to include a post-it note indicating that you would like the money to go towards the "Olivia Fund." 

United Hospital Foundation
333 North Smith Avenue
St. Paul MN 55102

4.  You can give of your time and talents! :)  I need helpers to come over and help me with various projects related to the boxes as well as the packing of the boxes.  My MOPS group will be helping to pack probably at least 50 boxes in October!  And I have a group coming over from the hospital soon!  I also hope to have a box packing time just for family members.  But before those packing projects can happen, I need help with things like filling tiny soap bottles with lavender baby wash, filling pouches with rice mixed with essential oils to make comfort warmers, sewing the comfort warmer pouches, stringing beads to create bracelets, clamping and doing wire wrapping for the bracelets, etc...

If you are interested in helping me tangibly, please email me back and I will put your name into Evite so that I can send you a formal invitation for specific work nights/days.  Or if you are someone who can do the above mentioned sewing of pouches (think bean bag like form and the fabric is already cut) or someone who can do the bracelet clamping/wire wrapping, please let me know asap!

Thanks so much for your support in this effort.  We were so encouraged with the lemonade and cookie stand which we held recently to help raise money for this effort!  From two hours outside selling cookies and lemonade we brought in $164!!!  Then later that week we were given more money and the total went up to $280!  THANK YOU!!!!! :)

And thank you for your support and encouragement to our family following the loss of our little Solveig.  We sure miss her and wish that she could be with us on earth.  We really look forward to being reunited with her in Heaven.

If you haven't already seen it, I have been blogging our journey: http://singermamamelody.blogspot.com.

Thank you for considering this.


Melody, Erik & kids

**Here's the contents list - the attachment that I sent with the email...fyi, the formatting is all goofy here and there is also a picture of Solveig that should be at the top of the paper.***

Packed in a white photo storage box
*found at Michael’s Craft Stores, $1.66-2 each

Handprint/Footprint memory kit, White Crayola Model Magic & white ribbon
*$3-4 Michael’s or Joann

Willow Tree Angel memory box for hair clippings, hospital bracelet, baby cap, etc.
*provided at cost by Hallmark store; around $18 each

Book, Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Dr. Deborah Davis
*provided by Fulcrum publisher; 51% discount – around $9.95 each

Book, When A Child Dies: A Resource For Families
by Trina Charles & Heidi Ciepielinski
*provided for a price if $8.95 each + tax & shipping
*contact Trina Charles – 320-763-6317

Small teddy bear
*Around $5 - provided at discounted rate by Hallmark store

Soft, homemade flannel blanket
*some fabric and sewing time donated by Bundles of Love,
but may have to buy some fabric…

Soft, homemade flannel comfort warmer
with rice & essential oils inside
*each warmer should cost around $2
* Bulk Jasmine rice - $17.32 for 10 lbs?
*Lavender and rosemary or lavender and orange essential oils - donated
*flannel “beanbag” like pouch handsewn by volunteers – will match the corresponding
blanket for each box – some flannel donated also by Bundles of Love, but may need to purchase some
*to be used along with the blanket to help warm the baby – can be heated in the microwave to
release essential oils…can also use after baby is gone, along with the blanket and a stuffed bear for comfort

Mini-Bar of Handmade Goatmilk Soap, Lavender scented
*for the mom…same scent as the baby soap
*these are made and donated by my friend Keri

Washcloth & small bottle of liquid lavender-scented baby bath soap
*washcloths from Babies R Us & Marshalls – about $32 total - $0.32 ea
*baby bath – Walmar t - $3.34 Walmart for 16 oz. – approximately 6 bottles needed to
divide into 1 oz. amounts = $20.04 total = $0.20 for each bottle
*travel size bath soap bottle – MidwestBottles.com - $0.25 each
*total for each bath soap/washcloth combo = $0.77 each

Small packet of facial tissues
*Target or Walmart – around $0.33 ea.

Handcrafted, beaded bracelet with footprint charm
*$5 each – beads purchased through jeweler friend…some portions donated by that friend.
*beading to be completed by us, friends & family and finishing touches donated time by jeweler friend. 

Journal & Pen
*journals found in dollar section at Michael’s and Target - $0.50 ea
*ballpoint pens – Target - $4 total – 100 pens - $0.25 each

CD- piano lullabies by John Albert Thomas – “Now I Sleep”
*50% off bereavement rate – total price = $7.50 – John Albert Thomas pays shipping

Estimated Cost Per Box = $64
50 boxes = $3,200 100 boxes = $6,400


Trennia said...

This is so sweet of you to do (((hugs))) praying<3

God's Most Precious said...

This Monica from God's Most Precious... I was just wondering how Joel was doing? I pray that you are all well and that the Lord is moving in your lives!