When I ran the numbers after paying invoices yesterday, I had to pause for a second. Then I knew the first person that I should contact – Lori McGrew. I knew that no one else would be as happy as Lori would be to hear that Maddie’s Footprints had officially crossed the $1,000,000 mark in assistance paid out for funeral or medical bills for Acadiana families facing miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.
When Lori and Travis started Maddie’s Footprints in 2010 in honor of their daughter Madeline Noelle, who was stillborn in 2009, there is no way they could have imagined how many families Maddie’s would touch (over 1,800 so far), or the space this small, local nonprofit would fill in Acadiana.
Before 2010, our families facing these losses had nowhere to turn for financial assistance with their burial or guidance through the burial process. More importantly, they had no one to turn to for support. We have a close knit, supportive community here in Acadiana, but miscarriage is a different type of grief, and it is hard for anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves to really understand what our parents are feeling. That is where Maddie’s stepped in.
Over the last 11 years, Maddie’s has created a network of moms and dads who get it. Moms and dads who know exactly what each other is feeling even without saying a word. Maddie’s Footprints offers support groups for moms and dads to attend, workshops with trained facilitators and experts, and retreats for couples to get away for a weekend and focus on themselves and their grief journey. But the biggest thing that Maddie’s has created is a safe space where our parents can speak their baby’s name and honor them openly and without judgement.
So, yes, we are pretty proud of having paid out over $1 million in assistance, but what we are even more proud of is seeing Maddie’s legacy live on every day in our families. Thank you to everyone who has helped to make Maddie’s what it is today – sponsors, donors, volunteers, staff… but most importantly, our families who keep Maddie’s spirit alive in everything that you do.
Watch our social media for our upcoming $1 million tribute week later this month!
Edie Couvillon, Executive Director