Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Benjamin Boxes

When I originally decided to make Benjamin Boxes for our local hospital I tried to find out approximately how many we would need in a year. I spoke to the grief counsellor that all the bereaved mothers get referred to. I spoke to the social workers at the hospital. And I looked at stats on line. All of this led me to believe it would be about 12 a year. These are just cases of stillbirth, as this is who will receive a Benjamin Box.

So I went shopping. I bought Notepads, pens, tissues, stationary, small zip-close bags, hand/foot print kits, and scrapbooking paper to make small frames for hand or foot prints. I also went to a local maternity/baby boutique (www.motheringtouch.ca) and told the owner about the boxes. She donated baby gowns to add to the boxes. Then I researched online sources of support and information and made up a long list to include in the boxes. I wrote up my story and included that. I also bought 12 sympathy cards and had the women in my support group sign them (often including their contact information).

I dropped off the first three boxes on November 10th. The social worker at the hospital emailed me a few weeks ago asking me to drop off another 3 boxes since they had run out of them. So I made up 3 more and dropped them off 2 weeks ago. Sadly, I just got an email today telling me they are in need of more boxes. That means that in 2 months there have been 6 families whose dreams have shattered. Six babies who were gone too soon. If these boxes have provided any comfort then I will gladly make as many as needed.

I have had people suggest setting up a paypal account so that I'm not having to make these boxes using my own money. That way I could include more things in them. I've looked into paypal, and even have a Paypal account. But I'm a tad technologically slow and don't really understand much more than how to set up the account, lol! If anyone wants to do that for me, let me know! If there are as many boxes needed as it seems then I might have to put more of an effort into fundraising. I have had a couple generous friends and relatives donate money to the cause (thank you so much!!). But I really hate asking for money. Even if it is a worthwhile cause. And I promise not to turn this blog into constant posts asking for donations! I was just surprised today when I got the email telling me they are already running short on them again. If this trend continues it could mean that I will have to donate 36 boxes this year, instead of the 12 originally planned for! Yikes!

My long-term hope is that these boxes could be offered in more hospitals than just my local one. But I'd like to get through one year here and see how it goes first. It just makes me sad to hear stories of women that have gone through this and not received any sort of support. Talk about feeling alone at a time when you need all the compassion you can get!


  1. Hey, maybe someone can make you a button to make donations? I'm not that savvy but I am sure there is a way you can get a button to have on your sidebar that someone could click on that would link to your paypal account. Maybe you could have it on your signature on any message boards you visit too...I think it is amazing that you make those boxes, what a wonderful tribute to the memory of your Benjamin.

  2. Its amazing what you are doing. If you decide to branch out, I would love to talk to my local hospital, and get Benjamin Boxes there.

    You are strong, and wonderful, and have SO much love to give. I really admire you.