National statistics tell us that one in four women will experience a pregnancy or infant loss. That means one in four women within our own community will suffer this kind of a life-changing loss yet we don’t have a local, physical space of remembrance. Often, those families suffer in solitude and silence. The need to provide validation that these babies existed, they mattered, and are not forgotten is strong – as is the need to heal. For this reason, Footprints in the Field, a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Garden, seeks to create a space of reflection and community for any families or individuals who have experienced pregnancy or early infant loss, regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs.
On the grounds of Harvest Fields, the Remembrance Garden will be a serene space which provides comfort to an underserved population. A key feature of the garden will be a collection of engraved river stones. When a family navigates a loss, they will be presented with a stone which can be engraved with the name of their child. The family can choose whether to leave the stone with others in the Remembrance Garden.
The land has been donated, which includes a peaceful pond and a gazebo for reflection. In addition, some initial beautification and gardening has been done by board members. To fund additional landscaping and materials costs plus create an endowment which will cover the cost of rock engraving, a $27,000 fundraising campaign will be launched during a virtual candlelight vigil on the eve of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15. During this online event, families will be invited to personally visit the site of the Garden. These personal visits will allow families to have privacy during a sensitive and emotional time of reflection.
The Garden is well underway—yet, we need your help to make significant improvements which will position the Candlelight Vigil and the following fundraising campaign for success.
Funded by State College, PA (September 2020)