Capturing the Love and Adding Kindness in a Time of Sorrow

The creative women who make the lovely items for this program are: seated, Marianne Smyth and Andrea Hopkins, and standing, Judy Tedeschi and Sheila Britton. Not pictured: Trish Merrill. A heartfelt thanks goes to them all for their beautiful work.

Linda Shannon-Hills

Being told, “Your new baby did not survive,” is devastating news for new parents. With the help of Now, I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS), volunteer photographers come in to take black-and-white photographs of the baby with the parents and sometimes the other siblings. The photographs capture the family’s timeless connection to one another with sensitivity and compassion.

Last fall, Karen Wright, the Tucson area volunteer photographer and coordinator, contacted Creative Giving co-leader Linda Shannon-Hills when she found out the group made charity items with fabric and yarn. Her group in Tucson needed keepsakes and a small blanket to wrap the baby while the parents and family held it.

The Creative Giving of SaddleBrooke Ranch, with more than 125 volunteer members, makes baby items for foster care and other charities in the area. Several women in the group crochet items as well. The crocheters agreed to make small blankets, small hearts, and a few crocheted bears for the families to keep after their loss. To date, the volunteers have made more than 50 small blankets, 48 small hearts, and a dozen bears to donate to the photographers of NILMDTS for use when they capture this special time with their photographs.

“It is a very sad situation when a family loses their newborn. There are no words that can make the loss easier, but Creative Giving is thrilled that we can provide some small kindness to this program,” says Linda Shannon-Hills.

Creative Giving supports several charities in the area, Family First in Oracle, Christ Child Society, Mending Souls of Tucson, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Mountain Vista School in Oracle, Impact of Southern Arizona, Kid’s Closet with SBCO, various assisted living and memory care centers, and the SaddleBrooke Ranch residents in need.