It’s Time to Pay Our Respects to Early-Death Babies

February means different things to different people, but to Kim Maimone February means Mera’s Mission and being sure no baby is forgotten and no parent grieves alone.

After experiencing three miscarriages and the death of their daughter, Mera, at 9 days old, the Maimone family found themselves feeling very isolated and without many resources for handling life after loss. So they set out to create a space where families with similar experiences can connect, feel less alone and continue to carry these children in their hearts.

Since its inception in 2020, Mera’s Mission, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has strived to create a sense of community support and connection for those who have experienced pregnancy, infant and early childhood loss. They do this through strengthening relationships, providing comfort and support, and creating authentic dialogue about life after the loss of a child.

They also host virtual support groups, awareness and remembrance events, sending care bags to newly bereaved families, as well as honoring PAIL – Pregnancy & Infant Loss Network, survivors on Mother’s and Father’s Day.

This year, Keller Williams Realty, Amelia Island, is joining with Mera’s Mission to help support and bring awareness to this community service. Throughout the month of February, you can help by making a “Heart Light” donation when visiting the direct link donation page.

How common is pregnancy and infant loss?

About one pregnancy in 100 at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later is affected by stillbirth, and each year, about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States. Unfortunately, these statistics are often overlooked by those who aren’t sure how support their friends and family that have experienced this devastating loss. Your support can make the difference for many in our community.

This program includes:

— Virtual support groups, done via Zoom.

— Care bags filled with grief support materials sent to the newly bereaved.

— Wave of Light, an International Day of Remembrance each October. Mera’s Mission hosts a local event to light up Egan’s Creek Park with luminaries representing babies that are dearly missed. This past year, 488 babies were represented.

— Caring cradle donations: These are medical grade cooling devices that slow a baby’s decomposition, allowing families more time to make memories.

— Mother’s Day/Father’s Day cards sent to bereaved parents.

— A lending library is in development.

You may reach Kimberly Maimone, Executive Director of Mera’s Mission by emailing: [email protected] or calling 904-652-3086. You may also visit their Facebook and Instagram pages at @merasmission, or website at: www.merasmission.org

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