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Teeny Tears is a non-profit organization of volunteers that collaborates together to provide tiny flannel bereavement diapers to hospitals and bereavement support organizations at no charge for families that have suffered the loss of a preemie or micropreemie child through stillbirth or NICU loss. Project launched November 2011 in loving memory of Dex J Bradshaw.
Because "a person's a person, no matter how small." Dr. Seuss
Approximately 26,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year, about 1 in 160 births. A significant number of these angels are preemie or micropreemie infants. Many of these angels are far too small for even the very smallest commercial diapers.
Teeny Tears is a service organization that provides tiny flannel diapers at no charge to hospitals and bereavement support organizations for families that have suffered the loss of a preemie or micropreemie child through stillbirth or NICU loss.
In 2008, our family was blessed with identical twin boys, one of whom passed away unexpectedly just before their birth at 28-weeks. The photos we have of our angel Dex are some of our greatest treasures. The tiny hand-made gown that had been donated with love is a keepsake that we cherish. Our wish is to bless families that suffer the same heartache, providing their angel with a soft, beautiful diaper in which to be photographed and laid to rest. WE PROVIDE TWO MATCHING DIAPERS PER FAMILY(and that's really important), one for the baby and one for the family to keep in a memory box. When possible, we will also make tiny micropreemie blankets that are appropriately sized for their beautiful little bodies.
Grieving parents often feel very lost, alone, and confused. Every special effort to honor their loss goes a long way. It is very difficult for a family to say goodbye to their child before they got to say a decent hello. These diapers, made with love, tell parents that someone understands that their child existed, that they are special, loved, real, and that they matter. The love that goes into these diapers tells a grieving parent that someone understands that their loss is tremendous. Because a "person’s a person, no matter how small".
The need for these diapers is enormous and endless. Gone are the days when angel babies must be left with naked bums because there is nothing suitable. No longer must nurses try to fashion a "diaper" out of cotton balls and tape. Our little diapers offer dignity and modesty to the tiniest angel babies. Teeny Tears diapers are soft against delicate skin and can be used to enhance photographic memories as well as offer dignity and modesty for the tiniest angels. For now, our diapers will accommodate infants between approximately 18 and 32 weeks gestation. These flexible flannel diapers will not create "frog legs", nor harm fragile, underdeveloped skin.
We have a busy Facebook group filled with volunteers across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who are gathering their families, friends, neighbors, and churches to serve Heavenly Father’s tiniest children and their bereaved families. We just made our first delivery to a hospital in Guatemala. As an inexpensive, simple, unique, educational, and meaningful service opportunity, our diapers are being sewn by families, sewing clubs, youth groups, Eagle Projects, Angel Mother grief support organizations, and churches of all religious denominations. We encourage our volunteers to donate within their local communities and we also match volunteers with hospitals all over the country on our growing waiting list. Grandmothers are digging their flannel scraps out of storage, families are repurposing old receiving blankets and shopping yard sales for fabric remnants. And we know when all the best fabric sales are going on!
If you are interested in joining our project, we invite you to participate by donating monetarily for fabric, donating fabric, or by sewing along with us in the comfort of your home and donating to the organization or hospital of your choosing. If you choose to sew along with us, PLEASE send us pictures of your project and we will post them! And PLEASE let us know where you are donating and how many diapers. It helps with future coordination of our diapering efforts!! If you choose to send them to our headquarters, we can place them in good hands for you with hospitals and organizations on our waiting list. We can also help with coordination for delivery in your local area!
- Vanessa Pollard
- (801) 830-9342
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