Collect gifts for a memorial fund.
Czajkowski and her husband organized a charity fundraiser. Every year, they host a big holiday party. This past Christmas, the first one since Catherine was born, they decided to ask their guests to give a donation in her memory instead of bringing wine, food, or gifts.
"After people heard of this, it evolved into a silent auction (we found a lot of our friends and neighbors had some wonderful talents!)," says Czajkowski. About 100 people attended this year, and the Czajkowskis raised more than $2,600.
They decided to support The MISS Foundation (www.missfoundation.org) and the Perinatal Memorial Fund at the hospital where Catherine was born. "The money that went to the hospital was used to purchase memory boxes from Memories Unlimited for families who will unfortunately go through the same tragedy," says Czajkowski. "There will be a plaque on each box with a note stating that the box was donated in memory of Catherine."
Adopt a cause you care about.
Hamilton's son, Stephen, and her living daughter are honored on the Trans Canada Trail. Stephen's paternal grandparents purchased a portion of the Trail, so the children's names will be engraved on a plaque along the recreational trail, which will eventually run from one side of Canada to the other.
New Castle, Delaware mom Tiffany Chalk delivered her son, Jared, at 23 weeks gestation in March 2003. Babies born that prematurely have very little chance of surviving because their vital organs are underdeveloped: Jared lived 28 days. During the long days at the neonatal intensive care unit, Chalk read materials about the March of Dimes and its research and funding for therapies that help premature babies in the fight to survive.
In 2005, Chalk organized a team of friends, family, and co-workers to walk in the March of Dimes' WalkAmerica. "I felt like every step I took was a step in the name of love for my son and towards finding answers to the question of why some babies are born prematurely," shares Chalk. "What helped me the most was knowing that supporting the March of Dimes could help keep another family from going through the pain my family has endured."
The first year after Jared's death, Chalk was grieving deeply and struggled to find meaningful ways to memorialize her son. "I wish, during the first year after I lost Jared, that someone had shared their story about memorializing a baby, because since getting involved with the March of Dimes, I have a sense of well-being about Jared not being with us," says Chalk.