Why I Volunteer
"I have never been one to have the right words to say when someone has gone through a loss. When I think of the loss that these families deal with, I realize there may be no words I can say to take that pain away; I can, however, pray that I will alleviate some of that pain and bring a little bit of joy by sharing my photography.
I am immensely honored to be invited into the lives of these families in their most difficult time and proud to be able to give them this precious gift. In return, volunteering with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep has touched my heart and changed my life in more ways than I can truly express."
“I volunteer for NILMDTS because I believe in giving others of our talents and gifts. I know how precious the photographs of my own children are and how many times I’ve wanted to freeze time, just remembering every little moment, maybe even seconds.
I’ve never lost a child, so I can only imagine the magnitude of having only moments to form a lifetime of memories. That’s what I strive to give all of our NILMDTS clients. Knowing that I can provide them with joy during such a heartbreaking time is fulfilling to me and gives so much purpose to my photography that reaches beyond NILMDTS, infusing the importance of my art into all the photos I take, for all my clients.”
“I've been a NILMDTS photographer for a little over a year but it was one of those things I meant to do for a long time. Many years ago (before the organization existed) my nephew was born very prematurely and he passed away after just a few hours. The nurses at the hospital took some Polaroid pictures of them and their son and the treasured these few images.
Fast-forward to my career as a photographer; when I first heard of NILMDTS I thought like so many "I could never do that." After awhile though my thinking evolved from "well, maybe I could" to "yes, I think I can and I will." Even then it probably took me another year to actually go sign up. Part of what lead me to it was thinking about my little nephew and how much those hospital pictures meant to his parents and part it was a desire to use my skill for something good in the world. It is difficult at times but I'm so glad to be a volunteer.”
“I volunteer for NILMDTS as a way to give back, to show gratitude for my many blessings in my own life. I have seen how much my own daughter loves and treasures the pictures she has of her twin angel babies.
At this stage in my career, being mostly retired, I have the time to give service to others, and I feel richly compensated when I am able to do something for them at a time when they really need to know that someone cares about them. It is rewarding to me to occasionally follow them on social media, and over the years watch as they continue on with life and have additional children and seem to find happiness in their lives.”
“I have four beautiful daughters now, but before I had them, I had two miscarriages. It was years ago, but I remember the profound sadness and darkness of those years. I remember leaving the hospital and wishing that I had something (a lock of hair or a picture or a footprint... something concrete) left of those babies.
I know that the only thing harder than having children is not having them.
Even though the memories are sad, it is important for me to remember my experience. The love I felt was stronger than the sadness. There was still hope. Love wins.
I first heard of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep when my friend's daughter was stillborn. She shared the pictures of her sweet daughter with me. I could see how much those pictures meant to her.
When I started photographing for NILMDTS, I was nervous. I wasn't sure how I would handle the sadness. There is sadness and tragedy, but the bottom line is always LOVE. These little angels are loved. Their families want to remember, and the pictures we take can help fill an empty place in a sad heart. What a privilege it is to be part of that!
I am a NILMDTS volunteer photographer because of LOVE! I know how much I love my babies, and I honor them each time I help another family. Love wins when we lift others up. Love wins when we remember.”
"I believe every life should be celebrated. I started my personal photography business 7 years ago to capture the special moments in life, mainly maternity/newborns, and in the past year I realized that these moments of infant loss are just as important, if not more important to document. Being a NILMDTS volunteer hasn't always been easy but it has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. It is a gift to be able to use my photography skills in this way, to serve these grieving families, and to experience giving back to my community. My mom lost a child 36 years ago shortly after birth and still looks at the photos they gave her...I know these families will treasure these photographs for years to come and it is my privilege to be able to serve in this way."