Because of this gofundme page, I was able to raise a little over $2000 to attend the Share training last year and get Austin Share off the ground here in Austin. Austin Share is holding twice monthly support groups for pregnancy after loss (PAL) and I am able to host perinatal loss groups through the Christi Center and reach out to those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss to connect them to resources through the Austin Share website (www.austinshare.org) and the Austin Share Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/austinsharepregnancyafterloss). All of this was thanks to you and your donations. I can't thank you enough.
The time has come for Austin Share to grow and I am reaching out again through this page to ask for your support on Giving Tuesday and thereafter to help keep Austin Share afloat and growing. I wish I could offer you all a tax deductable donation receipt, but hopefully by this time (or sooner) next year, Austin Share will have non-profit status and that will be a possibility. As you consider where your charitable donations will go this year, here is a list of how Austin Share will benefit from your donations:
- fees associated with creating a non-profit (if you have skills in this area or know someone who does, donations of time and assistance are appreciated as well)
- advertising and marketing expenses
- networking and promotional expenses
- purchasing of materials from the national Share office
- website hosting expenses
- national Share yearly dues
- creation of a hospital program
- ongoing training
Austin Share is looking to raise funding through this Giving Tuesday push and beyond. I know there are many amazing organizations that you can donate to. As a fledgling organization run by this one-woman band, I know I can't grow this without the help of friends, family, and those for whom support for pregnancy and infant loss is a priority. It is hard to reach out and ask for help, but I know in my heart how much of a difference Austin Share is making and can make in the Austin community. This whole venture grew out of my wish to honor Wiley for the 10 year anniversary of his loss. Giving Tuesday could not have come at a more meaningful time, just one day before this anniversary. I thank you all again for all you have done and all you continue to do for me, Wiley, Austin Share, and the people of Austin affected by pregnancy and infant loss.
Since our son Wiley Joseph was born still at 37 weeks in 2008, I have known the lifechanging power of a different kind of motherhood, loss, and grief as well as the surprising power of memorializing, support, and true community that came from the aftermath of stillbirth.
Most of my grief support came in the form of online forums, blogs, and the amazing network of babyloss moms and dads who come together online. Each year I have wanted to bring in-person group support to Austin. I am still surprised just how little in person parent to parent support there is for miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, especially in central Austin.
There is an amazing group called Share that offers a training program for people interested in bringing in-person peer support to their communities. Each year there is some reason I can't attend. It almost always comes down to not having the money to pay for the training, get airfare, and pay for a hotel.
This September, I would really love to have no excuse not to get to St. Charles, MO, for this amazing training and opportunity to finally start a Share support group here in Austin. I feel strange asking for money to do this, but I really don't want another year to pass without finally attending this training and trying to get a local chapter started.
There is also an opportunity to start a hospital group, which would allow me to align with a local hospital and not only provide support group work, but have the ability to come to the hospital and be with families experiencing loss and helping them in the midst of their loss. This training will allow for this work as well. Having a Masters in Counseling, I think I am uniquely qualified to start and grow a bereavement group and help expand grief support in Austin.
All of the money will go toward the cost of the training in Septemeber ($500), the airfare to get there ($300), and hotel accomodations ($450), a rental car ($200) and fees for this campaign (8% of the total raised). Above these amounts, $400 will get me the continuing education credits offered for the training to apply to my LPC renewal requirements. Anything beyond that will be put toward creating a 501(c)3 non-profit for the group, group advertising costs, etc., unless the donor has a special request.
Anyway, I just thought I'd put this out there into the world and see what happens. It won't be the end of the world if it doesn't happen. There's always next year...
- Lani DeGuire
- Ed & Missy Tobia
- Joan & Storm North
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