Footprints on the Heart, a regional non-profit 501(c)3 organization that raises awareness for pregnancy and infant loss, is holding the 5th-annual Candle Lighting and Remembrance Event at New Town Baptist Church on Oct. 15 from 5 – 9 p.m. The church is located at 897 New Town Church Road in Calhoun.
Khristie Staines, president and co-founder of Footprints on the Heart, says the organization belives each life is precious, no matter how short lived, and leaves a lasting legacy of love. “Footprints on the Heart envisions a society where families no longer have to bear the burden of pregnancy and infant loss in silence, but instead are able to openly share their loss journey,” said Staines. “Through community efforts, sharing bereavement materials, and the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced loss, we encourage individuals to grieve and grow in a healthy manner.”
Footprints on the Heart honored 40 babies during their innaugural event in 2012. Since then, 560 babies who have died in the first two years of life have been honored by the organization. “The sheer increase in families affirms that there is a need locally for pregnancy and infant loss awareness outreach,” said Staines.
According to Staines, Footprints on the Heart team of volunteers have spent countless hours since 2012 walking alongside families and learning about their children, their grief and offering hope and encouragement for their journey as a loss family.
The organization has hosted a variety events since 2012, including a 5K/1M held in the period of time between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in 2013, 2014 and 2016; a benefit motorcycle ride in 2015, the annual candle lighting and rememberance for the past five years and other regional event participation.
“Due to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we have been fortunate enough to gift bereavement resources such as books and pamphlets specifically targeted to the immediate decisions needed by families facing loss and information on grief, and to purchase items to be included in our memory boxes that we present to families,” said Staines. “We made a donation of items to Cartersville Medical Center on Father’s Day 2015 and we made a donation to Gordon Hospital on June 8, 2016. It truly is our blessing to be able to serve families facing the loss of a child in the first two years of life.”
In order to continue to raise funds for the organization, “From the Heart: A Collection fo Recipes, Reflections and Resources” has been published and si on sale at various locations for $23.49 plus tax and shipping, if desired to order by mail or online.
Printed by Morris Press Cookbooks of Kearney, Nebraska, proceeds will benefit Footprints on the Heart, Inc. According to Staines, the book is comprised of 493 pages from around 170 total contributors.
“Our family, friends and many of our volunteers have compiled their tastiest recipes into a single book that will be treasured for generations to come,” said Staines.
This cookbook contains 649 recipes-everything from appetizers to desserts. What sets this collection apart is that it also includes over 200 pages of reflections from families who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss, as well as information on various organizations in the infant loss community.
“This book is amazing for so many reasons,” said Jennifer Morrison. “The recipes are great but the stories definitely pull at your heartstrings! This may be one of the most well put together books I have ever seen. Everyone involved did an amazing job. Thank you for all of your hard work. I will treasure this book forever.”
“This collection has truly been a labor of love as we have spent almost two years bringing the vision of this book to life,” said Staines. “Countless hours have been put in by our volunteers and board members over the past year. What started out originally as a fundraiser for Footprints on the Heart has turned into something even more special.”
To order the cookbook or to get more information on the Candle Lighting and Remembrance Event , contact Footprints on the Heart at 770- 547-4333 or by visiting their Facebook page footprintsontheheart.ga.