How Are Project Robby Keepsake Sets Chosen?

When a Project Robby Keepsake Set goes out to a family who has requested it, it has been truly made, chosen, and packaged with love.

After a Project Robby  Keepsake Set has been requested, the request then gets added to our waiting list. Right now due to a surge in requests over the past two months, our waiting time from request to shipping is about 10-12 weeks.

We have space on our request form for gestation, gender if known, and any special notes to aid us in choosing a Keepsake Set. Some of the things that we see in the special notes section has to do with colors or specific objects that the family associated with the baby. Many times though, they tell us that anything would be wonderful because they long to have something tangible to  hold onto.

I go through and personally read every single request that comes through. I read your name and your special notes. If you tell me about your baby, I read it. There are many times that I cry as I read through some of the stories that come through because I personally know the heartbreak of loss.

My mom and I go through the hats, blankets, and angel wings that  our amazing volunteers send in and we take into consideration what colors/objects/special notes or memories were written down in the special notes section. Sometimes we end up holding onto one of the request forms a little bit longer because we don’t have exactly what we feel that they need.

Once we have chosen the perfect set and many times *sets* for the recipient, I sit down and write a note to the recipient of the Project Robby Keepsake Set. Each note I write is done with all of the love in my heart.

I know that our 10-12 week wait time might seem slightly excessive, but please know how much love goes into every single part of this process. Our volunteers pour their heart and souls into the hats, blankets, and angel wings. I have so many women tell me that they pray over the items as they make them. Then, my mom and I pour all that we have into matching the perfect sets for the recipient.

The other reason why our wait time is longer right now has to do with funding. Anyone who submits a Project Robby Keepsake Set request form and then goes and makes a donation (no matter the size) will automatically moves up on the waiting list. Why? Because even a $5 donation is helpful to us! It takes just over $5 (on average) to mail out a boxed set.

Occasionally we will receive a little bit larger donation and the person will say: please not only bump my name, but also bump up someone of your choosing. We will happily do this.

To everyone who makes items for our Keepsake Sets: thank you! We know how much love,time, and money goes into these projects, and we are truly thankful.

To the women who are requesting sets, please know that there is so much  love in every single step of this process.

 

Love,

Amanda ♥

4 Years of Project Robby

4 years ago today I very nervously published a blog post asking our friends to help us raise 50 tiny hats and 50 tiny blankets for the hospital where Robby was born. I wanted to use that donation as a way to honor Robby’s short life. I wanted to give other families enduring the heartbreaking loss of a child something appropriately sized for their baby. I wanted for the nurses at the hospital to not have to search high and low to find a hat that would come at least somewhat close to fit a baby born prematurely and who wouldn’t survive.

 

4 years ago I never would have dreamed the journey that we would go on because of that original blog post, and how it would change our lives.

 

We have met some of the most amazing people because of Project Robby. I have been connected with hundreds and even thousands of women who have also lost children. So many have shared their loss stories with me and we have not only cried together, but we have helped each other heal.   I have also been connected with some of the warmest, kindest, big hearted volunteers. Some of volunteers have had losses themselves, some volunteer because a family member or close friend has had a loss, and some who are volunteering just because they feel compelled to help.

 

In the last week alone, we have sent out over 100 sets of hats, blankets, and angel wings. When I published that blog 4 years ago I almost lowered the goal because I was afraid that we wouldn’t make it that goal. It is amazing what we are now doing on a weekly basis.

 

It is our mission through Project Robby to give parents who have lost a baby something special to hold onto when they are no longer able to hold their baby. We believe that all babies are special no matter how tiny, premature, or short their life here on Earth.

 

Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters who help us continue on with our mission.

 

Pregnancy Loss Keepsake Sets

 

About two years ago, we received a package of hats from a lady who actually was local to our area. In her package, she had enclosed various sizes of hats. It is not unusual for us to receive various sizes of hats; however, what was unusual was that the sizing of these hats started at 4 weeks gestation. When we opened up the box we just sat and stared in awe at them. We were completely amazed at how tiny those hats were. At the time, we were sending out to bereavement photographers and hospitals. Most hospitals have rules about how far along you have to be in order to be in the Labor and Delivery Unit (usually around 16 weeks) and although some bereavement photographers will not take photos of babies younger than about 16-18 weeks gestation, many won’t take pictures of babies less than 22 or 23 weeks gestation. Because of these rules, we were only sending out sets as small as 14-16 weeks gestation.

So, we put the smallest sized hats that came to us in size/age labeled baggies away on a shelf. Although they were amazing to see, we weren’t sure how we would be able to use the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or even 12 weeks gestation sized hats.

Fast forward a few months later: we received an email from a woman asking if we had anything that was 12 weeks sized for a friend of hers who had just lost her baby. Well, thanks to the woman who had sent us those tiny hats, we sure did and we were able to match up a 12 week gestation hat with a blanket we already had on hand and send it off to this grieving mother.

A couple of months later, I had a very dear friend who lost one of her twins at 8 weeks. I was able to get out our 8 week baggy of teeny tiny hats to send her something special.

A couple of weeks passed by and we had another request, but this time it was for an angel lost at 7 weeks gestation.

That is when we realized the overwhelming need for these teeny tiny hats, blankets, and angel wings.

When Project Robby started, our goal was to send hats to hospitals and bereavement photographers, but that mission overlooked a whole group of women who have also lost their babies. Many of these women might not have gotten to hold their baby in their arms, but that doesn’t make their baby any less important.

 

Your baby is important no matter how long you carried him/her.

 

We are honored to offer Keepsake Sets to women who have lost a baby no matter how early because we truly believe that all babies are special no matter how tiny, premature, or brief their life here on Earth. ♥

 

 

 

From One Grieving Mother to Another

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June 22, 2012 is a date that continues to be on my mind as each June 22 rolls around. It should have been Robby’s due date. Each year when this day rolls around I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness of what might have been.

 

Tonight, on what should have been Robby’s due date, I am sitting down to write letters to parents who have requested a Project Robby Keepsake set. In the last week we have had 182 requests for keepsake sets come through.

A lot of love and thought goes into picking out each keepsake set for the grieving families. We look for a hat, blanket, and angel wing that is the correct size. Sometimes we have parents mention something specific about their baby such as “ I was only 5 weeks, but I felt that he was a boy” or “I associate her with the color purple.” Some have had multiple losses, some have lost twins or triplets. We do our best to send out matching sets for multiples and if there was something specific mentioned, we really try to make the set fit what the parents have mentioned in the special notes. After each set has been chosen, I sit down and I hand write a letter to the parents who have lost their baby.

Normally we receive about 1 keepsake set request each day, but right now I am writing about 20-25 letters each day. With each letter I write I say a prayer for the family who will be receiving this keepsake set because I know the pain and heartache that they are feeling.

 

I am so thankful for everyone who supports Project Robby. Those who pray for us, those who participate in our fundraisers, those who crochet/knit/sew for us, those who send us supplies, those who share about us on Facebook.  It is because of this support that we have keepsake sets to send out, and that we have the funds to send them out to grieving families all over the world.

 

Although I still  miss Robby deeply, I am thankful for the work that we are able to do in his memory.

The Hat That Started It All

 

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Robby was born at 1 pound 4.4 ounces and 12 inches long. He was early and tiny, but he was perfect. When you go into premature labor, you aren’t prepared. We weren’t prepared. We didn’t have a camera, and we didn’t have a special hat or blanket for him.

 

Our kind nurse searched high and low for a hat at the hospital that would be small enough to fit his tiny head. Though there weren’t any tiny enough, she came back with a very precious small blue hat with a pom pom on the top.

 

The hat that Robby wore was so special to me. Yes it was too big, but it was special because he wore it. Even after I no longer had Robby to hold onto, I had his hat. It brought me comfort on countless occasions when I needed to feel close him. I slept with it, I carried it around in my hoodie pocket when I was at home, and when I left I put it into my purse and took it along. I didn’t have my baby, but I had that small piece of him.

 

As time went on that hat stayed at home when I left, and stayed under my pillow when I got up. Eventually it got put away in Robby’s memory box. As my grief journey progressed I stopped relying on the comfort of that hat; however, that does not mean that it means any less to me.

 

I don’t know the woman who so lovingly made this hat for me. She won’t ever know how much that little blue hat means to me, and what it represents.

 

It isn’t just a hat. It represents Robby’s life. It was a short life, but he mattered, he was loved, and he was here. That hat is a physical reminder of his existence.

 

That little blue hat with a pom pom on the top is what started Project Robby. It helped me get through some of the absolute hardest days of my life.

 

This is why it is our mission at Project Robby to make sure that every parent not only has something special to hold onto, but that the hat and blanket is the correct size for their baby.

 

All babies are special no matter how tiny, premature, or short their life here on Earth.

_Amanda