Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Always in Our Hearts Silent Auction 2019

YOU'RE INVITED!

Join us for our annual Always in Our Hearts silent auction

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7pm

Merryman Station in Exeter

LIVE MUSIC - DELICIOUS FOOD - FRIENDS - FUN

Your Name

This event was fantastic at Merryman Station last year, so we're holding it again there this year. The same fabulous band, led by my father-in-law Bruce Lamb will be playing again! We're also going to have plenty of finger foods and desserts available. Please come support us at our biggest event of the year, and bring your friends! Get your tickets below before they sell out! (Enter your name in the box above the "Buy Now" button and then click the button). You can also pay Amanda in-person for tickets before the event to ensure a spot for yourself.
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Monday, September 24, 2018

What items can I give that will go in care packages?

As you can see, no two care packages are exactly alike. Each one is assembled based on the grieving family's need. There are some staples for every basket though, so if you'd like to get items to go directly in a basket, here's what we need:
  • Individually-wrapped and non-perishable snacks for adults and children that are more healthy
  • Boxes of tissue
  • Packages of pocket tissue
  • Meal gift cards of at least $25
  • Herbal (non-caffeinated) tea
You may also purchase coloring book sets for $10 each from my friend Jaime who's an Usborne representative. More info to come on this!

Why these items?
When the idea of this organization was formed we sat and brainstormed about items we would have wanted or did receive that we really appreciated. Many of these items are chosen particularly to help with the immediate grief. Other items are chosen to hopefully help families heal, like books about grief and memorial jewelry.

All donations are tax-deductible.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What can you donate for Child Loss Awareness Month 2018?

$25 purchases a journal, tissue, snacks, and more for a care package
$50 gifts jewelry for several grieving mamas
$100 sponsors our October Balloon Release for package recipients
$200 pays for marketing materials and supplies
$350 helps us reach our grieving community
$500 sponsors our silent auction event
$1,000 gives hope to many who need it


Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Many couples suffer this loss silently.

Depression, anxiety, and guilt often follow after the loss of a child. And who is there to help? We are.

Many marriages end in divorce after infant death. There's a lack of community and resources for them. We want to help change this.

In the next year, Sent from Heaven desires to build a community with those who receive our care packages to help fill many of the needs described. We have created an online community for these families and will be having regular events for them. They need to know they're not alone.
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

What you can do for Child Loss Awareness Month 2018

Whether you've lost a child or not, you can still participate in Child Loss Awareness Month every October. Here are some ideas of things you can do:
  • Give. Click the "Donate" button below to give a one-time or monthly donation. Each October we have had successful online fundraisers for Child Loss Awareness Month. If you'd like to give in honor of a child who isn't your own, please make a note of that and we'll contact you so we can send along a special note to the family of the child.
  • Share our 2018 Child Loss Awareness campaign page with friends and family via social media or email. (Click the page name to go there).
  • Reach out to someone you know lost a child. Send a simple note saying, "I'm remembering the child you lost this month with you. I miss him, too."
  • Post on social media about Child Loss Awareness Month. Use the graphic we have here or any number of the ones we share on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Add a temporary Child Loss Awareness frame to your Facebook photo. Search for one on Google; they're easy to find, or look for one to be posted.
  • If you have lost a child, share your story, privately with a friend, or publicly. We're always looking for more stories to add to our website as resources for families who receive our packages. We don't want them to feel alone in their loss or the feelings they have.
  • Light a candle from 7-8pm on October 15 to participate in the worldwide Wave of Light in remembrance of all the children gone too soon. And, be sure to let others know you're participating!
  • Attend a child loss memorial service and/or invite a friend to one. 
  • Wear a pink and blue ribbon. Add one to your car.
Thank you for your support and consideration!
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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Being Faithful through the Storm

I just finished working through a study on Paul's faithfulness to God when all seemed lost! As I worked through Beth Moore's questions about the Scripture, I felt it almost jumping off the page to share with this community.

The study focused on Acts 27:1-28:10. Let me summarize it for you: Paul was a prisoner setting sail on his way to Rome. It was getting close to winter. After switching ships, Paul could see that if they continued sailing the direction the captain wanted to go then they would face a difficult storm.

Paul was certainly right! For 14 days, the 276 crew members and passengers fought the strong "northeaster" storm. The crew didn't eat for the entirety of those days. But part way through this storm, an angel spoke to Paul, telling him to not be afraid for he and everyone on the ship would be saved. After giving everyone this news, Paul tells them, "'So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me'" (Acts 27:25). Even though their chances looked bleak, Paul had faith in God. 

After fighting for 14 days, the crew sees an island and runs the ship aground. The ship literally begins to fall apart after the pressure of the storm pummeling it for so long. Those who can swim, get to shore that way, and those who can't swim grab a piece of the ship and float to the beach. They are treated with "unusual kindness" by the natives who built a large fire for them. Later, they are welcomed into the island's chief official's home for several days.

Here are some truths about this Scripture from Beth Moore:
  1. Our feelings CANNOT be the basis of our faith. "One reason many people feel 'disappointed in God' is because they treated their feelings as fact" (166). God is unchanging and He loves us. That is what our faith must rest in.
  2. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Even though it appeared that many of all of the people on the ship with Paul would die, Paul listened to God's promise given it that moment. Additionally, Moore writes, "Paul also did not assume that every promise God had ever made in history would be applied to him in his moment of need. The Word of God overflows with many wonderful 'blanket' promises, continually true to all of us (i.e., He will never leave us; He will return for us; He will work things for our good), but many of God's promises are for particular times, situations, and people" (166).
  3. God's deliverance for Paul and everyone on board the ship came from running it aground. "Deliverance doesn't always mean ease. It may be simple and painless, or, God's deliverance in your life may be one of the most excruciating things you ever experience...Difficulty does not necessarily mean disaster" (167).
  4. "God has a place of kindness, warmth, and welcome. A place, where, once you have been faithful to who He is, He will show you what He can do" (167).
Friends, I hope you benefited from this. I understand the hurt, pain, and sorrow you face, but God will deliver you! Isn't that wonderful?! 

All this reminds me of the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, "Hard Love" by needtobreathe:
Hold on tight a little longer
What don't kill you, makes you stronger
Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love


Study quotes from
Moore, Beth. Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. LifeWay Press: Nashville, TN. 2012.
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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Two year celebration at Rubio's: Friday, 8/24/18

We're amazed at all that's been accomplished in just two years! Join us to celebrate with a fundraiser at Rubio's in Visalia near the Target on Mooney Blvd. at 5-8pm. Get the mobile flyer from our Facebook or Instagram story on the day of the event or use the one here on our website. This must be shown for us to get credit.
  • 52 care packages created in two years
  • 28 delivered in the last year
  • 7 requests made in the past two weeks
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Sunday, July 1, 2018

a fun week

Two fun things happened this week. First, we received our shipment of two dozen signed copies of Loved Baby by Sarah Philpott!! We sold 12 candles in April for 12 books, but she doubled the donation! She is such an incredible blessing to our ministry.

You can learn all about her at allamericanmom.net

Second, we had a Blaze Pizza Party fundraiser. I think we had around two dozen or more people eat pizza to support us! We'll be receiving 20% of the proceeds from all those orders. You can see several photos of people from the event on our Facebook page. If you ate at Blaze for us and took a photo, we'd love to see it! Post it to your page and tag us.

If you missed that fundraiser, we're having the next one on our second anniversary, August 26th, at Rubio's. More info to come about that soon!
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Friday, March 30, 2018

1 Candle: 1 Book Donated

We're so happy that Family Tree Candles and Sarah Philpott, author of Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, are helping us out! During the entire month of April, one of Sarah's books will be donated for EACH candle purchased from Family Tree Candles! There are incredibly brave and special people behind both of these, so let me tell you a bit about them.

Sarah Philpott writes over at allamericanmom.net about her life as a Christian, farmer's wife, and mom in the South. A few years ago she experienced two back-to-back devastating miscarriages and was coming up short when she looked for a book on it, so she decided to write one. Her chapters are short, simple, and concise ranging in subjects from what one deals with physically to the myriad of emotions and remembering our sweet babies. With help from other women, Sarah's book also touches on different types of losses: miscarriage, still birth, and ectopic pregnancy. Nearly all the proceeds from the books sales are spent getting more books into the hands of grieving women who need it. Check out the book "trailer" below to find out more.



Meg Whitley is the creator and owner of Family Tree Candles. She's from Tennessee and pours a little southern charm into each candle she makes. Her candles not only smell great, but they are pretty, too. They are hand-poured high-quality soy wax candles in glass jars with gingham ribbons tied around each one, nestled inside a stamped canvas bag--ready for gifting! Fragrances are also added naturally with essential oils.

For our book drive, you can purchase a Loved Baby candle which comes in their ever-popular pineapple sage scent. For each candle purchased, Meg is donating the profit from the candle to purchase books that will go directly into our care packages. We have already put this book into several packages and have had excellent feedback on it, so we're eager to get more!

If you don't want to purchase online, you can purchase a candle directly from us and we'll order it for you. Thank you for your support! And give Sarah and Meg your support, too! Go follow them on social media!
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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Coming Together for AIOH 2018

In the fall, I (Amanda) started thinking about our annual fundraiser event: Always in Our Hearts. I considered what would be the same and different from last year. I dreamed of having it in a beautiful venue, but I didn't think we would be able to make that happen for a few years on our limited budget. I talked to my husband about my dream for event and a few others, and contacted Merryman Station in late November.

I knew about Merryman Station because the owner, Mandy Thomas, was in my Bible study group for a short time the year she and her husband purchased the building. I watched them renovate it for a couple years through Facebook and was impressed with the final result. Mandy had also shared with me her story of child loss, and I felt a kindred spirit with her through that.

When I thought about where I wanted to have our fundraiser eventually, I immediately wanted to have our fundraiser in this space to support Mandy and as a reflection of our ministry. Merryman Station has been part of the Central Valley for over 100 years; it's surrounded by orange groves and sits on the 198 in Exeter, just between the cities and the foothills. Inside and out, it's a rustic farmhouse haven. The wood and lighting make it cozy, but also reflect its age. Somewhat similarly, our organization stands for hope in the midst of turmoil. Those who have lost a child have suffered long and hard, and our loss never goes away; we just learn to live with it. On "the other side" of child loss and with Jesus Christ in my life, I know there is hope.

When I contacted Merryman Station, initially I was told that they were booked solid in January and February, but they would double-check their calendar to see if we could be squeezed in. After checking in with Mandy a couple more times in December, I was finally told right before Christmas that there were two openings for us to choose from in January! Incredible! And it would cost $1000 after our discount...WAN WAN WAN. We typically don't even have that much in our account, so I had no idea how we would pay for this venue, so I thought about it for a couple days.

In the meantime, I started visiting and emailing local businesses and artisans to ask for donations for the silent auction. Some people never responded to my emails, others said "we get asked for a lot of donations so we have to be selective," but several others jumped at the opportunity to support us! Those who responded were extremely generous, kind, and excited about what we do. They knew there was a need for our organization and desired to support it. Over a dozen people gave us donations and we ended up with around 25 quality items to auction. CJ Hopper Photography gave us a $200 voucher!! I was shocked! Who gives away $200 of profit?? Wow.

After a couple days consideration about how to pay for Merryman Station and if it was worth it, I came up with an idea. I went over to my auto repair shop to ask for a $500 donation. Why there? I knew the owners are Christian as they're major supporters of our local Christian radio station. I felt like they're generous people, so what was the worst that could happen? They'd say "no" and I would table my dream venue for another year. I got a meeting with the owner, Santos, for Jan. 4 which was just 22 days before our event was to take place. He fully supported what we were doing and completely understood why I wanted to have the event in a special venue. He readily agreed to a $500 donation and wanted to find other ways to help us. Amazing!

Immediately, we let everyone know when and where our event would be. It was going to be the beautiful dream I had! I couldn't believe it!! My father-in-law's band agreed to play for our event at no cost so we could have live music. A couple weeks before the event I was reading in the Enjoy magazine about Component Coffee Lab, based out of Visalia with a mobile coffee cart. I sent an email asking "How does this mobile coffee cart work for an event I'm hosting?" He sent me a price, and I said that we couldn't afford that this year but perhaps in the future. He then asked if it was for a private or public event. I told him it was for a fundraiser for my nonprofit organization. A few minutes later, one of the owners, Jonathan, wrote me back saying they would show up for no charge to us ANNNDD give us a percentage of that night's proceeds. I nearly fell over when I read this, you guys! Seriously! Who does this?? These people don't even know me! He read a little about us on our website and "felt compelled" to help as a father and a Christian.

Donations for the silent auction continued pouring in, even on the day of the event! A majority of the tickets we sold were in the days just before the event when I wasn't sure we were even going to have enough people present to bid on all the fabulous items I had collected. On the day of the event, everything came together perfectly. It was all organized and just as I had imagined. Driving up that night to the building, all fantastically lit up, I felt like the belle of the ball. I teared up a little and smiled with a full heart of joy and gladness. It was a most beautiful and fun evening celebrating what we have accomplished and hope to achieve. It was a marker for our future that lies ahead. Nearly $1200 was raised by the silent auction items alone, and many individual gifts of $50-$100 were given during the month by those who were unable to attend. Component Coffee Lab donated 80% of their profits from the evening! (Go support these guys, people! They're at the Farmer's Market every Saturday and have a shop downtown now.)
This event wouldn't have happened without my husband. He watched our kids several times so I could go do stuff to prepare for the event. He helped me think through it all and fully-supported me when I felt overwhelmed by all of it. I'm also so grateful for my co-founder, Aubin, who put up with my to-do lists and went shopping for everything. I love you both!
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