Monday, December 1, 2014

Microblog Monday: Memories Make a Life

Have you heard of Sevenly? They feature a different charity each week and every item sold donates $7 to a charity, and they also sell series of t-shirts that benefit other charities.

If you're still looking for a gift idea (or stuffing your own stocking), put this shirt on your list (or feel free to buy it for me, hint, hint):

The sale of this shirt benefits Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep--an organization that provides professional photography for parents who have lost a newborn. (Sidenote: my friend Brandy nominated NILMDTS for a Jolly Time Popcorn Kernels of Kindness prize and they won!)

We had Eliza's pictures taken by NILMDTS even though I thought maybe I didn't want them. Our nurse Stephanie was basically like, "You think you don't, but really you do" and I'm so grateful to her for encouraging us to have them taken. Those photos hurt my heart and fill it up at the same time. I can hardly bear to look at them, and yet they would be one of the first material items I would save if my house were on fire. They honored her and I will always be grateful for that, no matter how traumatic and painful things were, she was still our baby girl and they made her feel real and meaningful.

Before Eliza, I would have said that taking pictures of dead babies is morbid or something, but before Eliza, I was an idiot who had no idea what it was like to lose a baby.

NILMDTS is an act of generosity and love in the most unimaginable circumstances. It's an all-volunteer organization and photographers are on call to go to hospitals and give parents who will leave with empty arms something to hold onto.

I like this shirt, too (also benefits NILMDTS):

Each year we make a donation in memory of Eliza to a different charity. I never plan or know ahead of time what it will be, but there is always a particular issue that speaks to my heart right around her birthday. The first year we donated to the project a friend of mine was organizing through the Peace Corps. The next year it was Living Water International. Last year we made a microloan through Kiva. This year, on what should be her fourth birthday, we'll donate to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

Do you have a favorite organization that gets a donation in memory or honor of someone each year? Name your charity and link in the comments. I'd love to check it out.


  1. So... you just nailed it on this one. I love Sevenly, but have been waiting (and literally do check often!) for a charity that really represents us to support. Sure enough, you found this and I have now just put that first shirt in my cart and a t-shirt for Elliot. Did I tell you Elliot has signed up as a liaison for NILMDTS in our local area to help out the photographers, communicate with hospitals, etc?

    Anyway, thanks! How did you find out about this? You a Sevenly stalker like me?

  2. I love NILMDTS. They do such an important service.

    This is the first I'm hearing of Sevenly! What a great site.

  3. Love the T-shirts! I so wish NILMDTS had been around when I had Katie. The social worker I spoke with before heading to the hospital suggested I should bring a camera -- but of course I didn't, because who would want to take photos of a dead baby, right?? So all I have are six really crappy Polaroids taken by the nurses. And of course I would probably save them first in a fire too, because they're all I have. It is probably the single greatest regret of my life.

    Dh & I used to write a cheque to our support group every year on Katie's birthday. We haven't done so in a number of years (long story...) but we haven't found somewhere else for our money to go and you have reminded me that we probably should for next year.

    Thinking of you as Eliza's birthday draws near.

  4. I love your idea to donate each year to a different charity. I used to donate to a specific charity at Christmas, but became disenchanted with them. Your idea to do something different each year feels so right.

  5. My SIL died unexpectedly in 2012. That Christmas we kept her name in our gift drawing, with the idea of paying it forward. I drew her name and donated to The Pajama Program because she used to make her kids pjs and they wore them Christmas Eve. Last year we had a holiday open house and collected 125 pairs and donated them to a family shelter. This Sunday is our second pajama drive and they will go to a charity for kids entering foster care. They make cases with pajamas, sheets, clothes and toiletries.