Most of this is copied/pasted straight from Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope, but I wanted to personally thank everyone in my little corner of the internet who has been so supportive of this project. You are all truly amazing people. It wasn't long ago (about 5 months ago to be exact) that I went online, stumbled upon Grieve Out Loud and a few "baby loss" blogs (including Julie's, Birn's, Angie's, Andrea's, Maggie's, Lara's, and Kristin's, to name just a few). Since then, I have been able to connect with so many wonderful mamas (waaaay too many to list here!), and I am so incredibly thankful that you've all stuck around and stood by Andrea and I as we've gone forward with Faces.
Not only does your support mean a lot to me as Kristin, the "Founder of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope," it means the world to me personally, as Kristin, "Stevie's Mom." So thank you. I love you guys.
Update on our I AM THE FACE campaign:
First, let's talk about the faces. As of today, we have had a little over 1,900 face pictures uploaded to www.iamtheface.org. We set out to show the world two main things: 1) that while pregnancy/infant loss is not often talked about, it's very, very common, and 2) that miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss are not things that happen to "other people" off in the shadows somewhere, but things that can and do happen to anyone--your neighbor, your sister, your co-worker, and your friend. Real, beautiful, "normal" everyday faces. It's easy for people to ignore an issue. But put a face on it, and it's incredibly hard for people to turn a blind eye.
Next, the names. Just as striking as the faces, seeing all of our children's names (or nicknames), together in one place, is a powerful, powerful image. As we were adding names to the "Gone Too Soon" page, we kept thinking, each one of these names represents an actual baby, someone's world. They represent hours and hours spent on baby name sites. Each one was argued over, talked about, and decided on with so much love and excitement. Each one of these names has touched who knows how many people with their short but meaningful lives. Our children were more than ideas, or "products of conception." They were real babies with real names. They existed.
And then there are the donations. Our goal was to raise $2,000...and we raised over $5,000! We are completely blown away by the generosity of the over 550 people who made a financial donation to our cause. The majority of donations came from our friends and families--people that have not lost a baby themselves, but who wanted to show their support. Sometimes we feel like the 'outsiders' don't care, but this shows that a lot of them really do, maybe more than we think. We saw an uncle donate $100 in honor of his niece, grandparents making donations on behalf of their grandchildren, and friends pitching in what they could to support the person in their life who had lost a baby. Of course, many of you who submitted your face also donated as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. We are so excited for all the great things we'll be able to do with this money.
While we might not have made as big of a splash as our friendly competition, breast cancer, we are thrilled with how many people were made aware of our message through this campaign. An amazing 5,620 people shared the link to www.iamtheface.org on facebook. If you assume each of those people has an average of 200 facebook friends, that's over a million people (!!!) at the very least seeing something about our campaign! On October 15th alone, we had over 5,000 visitors to the website. Our faces were seen and our voices were heard!
So again, thank you to everyone for making this little campaign so successful! It truly was a grassroots effort, and I appreciate every blog post, facebook status, and twitter update you did to help spread the word. And of course I need to send two VERY big, gigantic thank you's to my wonderful friend and partner-in-crime Andrea, who doesn't always get all the credit and acknowledgment she deserves, but puts in a ton of work behind the scenes and who is just brilliant. :) And her amazing sister, Sarah, who volunteers so much of her time doing all of our beautiful web/logo/forum stuff. So blessed to know you both.
And to my precious daughter, Stevie Joy: it's all because of you, baby girl.
Alright, this is too long. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
2 hours ago