Recently I was nominated by one of my Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep families to be the Volunteer of the Month. NILMDTS is an an infant bereavement photography program that has over 1600 volunteers worldwide that donate their time and skill to families experiencing the loss of a baby. There are 4 of us in the greater Burlington area alone. It is an honor beyond words for me to receive this just as it is an honor to be able to make photographs for these babies and their families.
Thank you so much Rachel & Dan for recognizing me in this way. I am so glad to have met your sweet Jack. He will always have a special place in my memories.
March 2015 Volunteer of the Month
This nomination was sent in by a family Kathleen Porter served in Vermont.
Here is the family’s story in their own words:
“We learned of NILMDTS through social media and thought it was a nice organization, but never expected to have need of its services. A couple months later we discovered we were expecting our second child, and by mid-pregnancy, we were told he would never live. I immediately thought of NILMDTS and found and contacted Kathleen – the area coordinator.
She had a 45 minute trip in and did not want to miss the potential of catching Jack alive. She appeared during the final stages of labor, and if I hadn’t been informed, I never would have known. She moved quietly and seamlessly among the medical staff, capturing intimate images of our final steps in the journey of carrying our son.
The respect and care she showed toward Jack and our family holds such meaning to us. The process left Jack’s body battered, bruised, and broken- Kathleen was able to offer us an edited photograph through email the night we left the hospital so we had something beautiful to balance our mental images of his tiny body. Unknown to us at the time of delivery, Kathleen actually did TWO NILMDTS sessions at the hospital that day. She drove in during early morning to provide photographs for another family and stayed through the afternoon to do a session with Jack. The poise and grace she demonstrated throughout our time with her speaks to her character. I vividly remember her kind smile and sweet demeanor as she interacted with us.
Recently, I tried to attain vital and legal records of our son, Jack. The state of Vermont does not issue any type of legal documentation for a still birth. The ONLY proof of my son’s existence are the photographs done by Kathleen and provided by Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. These images and memories are priceless.
‘Thank you’ cannot begin to encompass the amount of gratitude my family has for your organization and the volunteers like Kathleen. Because of these photographs, we have a tangible memory of Jack we can share with his big sister and any future siblings. God bless each of you for all the work you do.”
Congratulations Kathleen! Please accept our sincere thanks for being such a wonderful volunteer. We appreciate you!
If any photographer or retouch artist is interested in volunteering for this amazing program, you can reach more and sign up here.