714-509-0065 info@foreverfootprints.org

Friendships and Loss

I will never forget the first time I felt it. I was sitting in a room full of women, who were all laughing, talking, complaining about their husbands, bragging about their children. It was five months after my son Joseph had died, and I thought I could do it. I thought I could join the world again. I wanted to feel normal. But sitting in that room—with a newly formed women’s group—I never felt so alone in my entire life. The sounds all became one, like a constant buzzing. My hands started to sweat. My heart started to pound. And I ran for the door. I ran from new friendships and I ran from my old friendships. I isolated myself from those who had children and babies. I couldn’t face my pregnant friends, because I was a reminder to them of what could go wrong. My friends’ worlds were moving forward, and my life felt as if it was standing still. I didn’t know how to be anyone’s friend. I was different. I had held my son and watched him take his last breaths. I watched his casket being put in the ground. I had gone home to leaking breasts full of his milk, an empty nursery, and a broken heart. And my friends would never understand that.     As the months after Joseph’s death turned into years, and I sought the help of support groups and private therapy to deal with my grief, I tried to repair old friendships and begin new ones. I started to accept this was the new me. And I began to see,...

How you can help those who are grieving the loss of their child

Your best friend just called you sobbing because she lost her baby in her 10th week of pregnancy. You just got an email from your coworker, and at her 36-week checkup, she learned her baby no longer has a heartbeat. A friend you haven’t seen in a while, but who you follow on social media, just posted her 2 month old daughter passed away last night. What do you say? What do you do? There’s never going to be the perfect thing to say or do when you learn that someone you know has experienced pregnancy loss or infant death. But the worst thing you can do is stay silent. Here are some ideas on how you can make an impact on the life of a grieving family: 1.) If their baby was named, use their child’s name. It’s not a horrible reminder to those of us who have lost a child. It’s a beautiful memory. 2.) Don’t wait for the family to ask for help—take action. Many families are in shock after their loss. They might not know how to ask for help or want to be around others. Drop a meal on their front porch or send a care package. 3.) Remembering milestone dates is very meaningful. Send a note or even a text message on the due date, baby’s birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and/or holidays. Many people are afraid this will “remind” people of their loss. The reality is we never forget, and knowing others remember our child is comforting. 4.) Hold their hand. Give them a hug. And listen. 5.) Be mindful of saying...

Forever Footprints Memory Box Program

When Forever Footprints learned that many families left the hospital with empty arms, we vowed to change that. For many years, we have distributed memory boxes into the community, so families who have experienced pregnancy loss or infant death have treasured memories of their baby. And while we are so proud of the boxes, we had a dream of providing ones that were larger and sturdier. Thanks to the generosity of the Brady family, in honor of their son Jayden, the dream became a reality. Because of their support, 200 boxes will be given to families. In addition to sturdier boxes, we are also able to include teddy bears, blankets, hats, keepsake magnet frames, and support information in English and Spanish. Many thanks to all our volunteers who donated their time to assemble boxes at our Forever Footprints office. It is our hope to provide even more boxes to grieving families. You can sponsor a box for $25 by clicking...

Forever Footprints Is Hiring

Forever Footprints Executive Director Position Forever Footprints ensures that families who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss receive the best support, comfort, and resources possible. To do so, Forever Footprints provides families with direct services, educates the medical community to improve quality of care and response, and offers opportunities for remembrance to help families find their own path to healing. Responsible to: Board of Directors Function: Serves as the Executive Director of the organization with responsibilities and duties as listed in this job description and as assigned by the Board of Directors. Responsibilities: •    Develop and manage the fundraising and financial strategies of the organization. •    With the board of directors, establish short and long term goals via a strategic plan. •    Prepare the annual budget and present to the board of directors. •    Meet or exceed individual revenue goals, set annually by the board of directors, and ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work. •    Maintain and build relationships with individual donors. •    Manage and seek grant opportunities. •    Maintain and build relationships with corporate and family sponsors for yearly events, and produce new sponsors. •    Recruit and motivate volunteers. •    Develop and implement social media strategies and marketing plans. •    Develop effective working relationships within the medical community. •    Represent the organization at community events, seminars, speaking engagements, etc. •    Oversee event management team and contribute to producing 2-3 events per year. •    Develop, implement and supervise programs and services that are consistent with the organization’s mission. •    Follow all organization financial procedures, and maintain all financial tracking....

2016 Forever Footprints Compassion Award

The Forever Footprints Compassion Award is given to an individual or individuals in recognition of their contribution to the pregnancy and infant loss community.  Each year, support group leaders, doctors, nurses, parents, volunteers or other individuals who have made an impact in the lives of parents and families who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss are nominated for this award. Congratulations to our 2016 Compassion Award nominees: Laurel Taylor Ciara Johnson Jennifer Beers Rene Ray De La Cruz Dr. Donald Henderson Aracely Rodriguez Gemma Acevedo Kristin Hernandez Congratulations to our 2016 Compassion Award recipient: Ciara Johnson Ciara has been nominated for the award for three consecutive years. Ciara has been an active Forever Footprints board member for three years, where she organized the Golf to Remember and Night to Remember events. She has also taken a large role this year in planning the OC Walk to Remember. Ciara’s dedication has resulted in thousands of dollars in fundraising and sponsorship for Forever Footprints, which benefits all of the families Forever Footprints serves. In addition to her dedication to Forever Footprints, she is an example of strength, love, and dedication to pregnancy and infant loss. This quote is from Nancy, who nominated Ciara: “Ciara epitomizes true compassion, as she has literally walked beside me in the aftermath of losing my firstborn son Noah. Ciara is truly a loving Mother and caring friend, who inspires me with how she has transformed her grief from losing her sweet Colton into helping others through her active involvement with Forever Footprints.  I can think of no one who is more deserving than Ciara to win...