We are so pleased to announce the recipient of the BEARPAW Community Champion Award: Stephanie of Fiona’s Hope. Stephanie has turned a devastating loss into hope for so many others, inspired by the memory of her daughter. She is truly an extraordinary individual.
Fiona’s Hope is a nonprofit organization formed to address the comfort needs of families of hospitalized children during prolonged or unexpected hospital stays. Fiona’s Hope does this by spreading Hope through the little comforts of home with Fiona’s Hope Totes, remembering Heaven’s newest angels through Fiona’s Hope Memorials, and providing support by connecting with families through personal experience. You can support the cause via financial donation or supply donation. Information and details can be found on their website or their Facebook page.
Please read on for the story of Fiona’s Hope through Stephanie’s own words.
“I started Fiona’s Hope as a way to pay forward the love and kindness shown to us during Fiona’s nine-month hospital stay following her birth. Without the support from family, friends, and even complete strangers, we would not have been able to be there for our daughter when she needed us most.
I built the HOPE Totes from my own personal experience as a hospital parent. I wanted to develop a care package that was really useful, yet still comforting. I wanted to extend hope and support to families experiencing stressful medical challenges with a child. I wanted them to know that they are not alone (as a child’s medical crisis can be a very isolating experience for a parent).
In June of 2014, my precious Fiona Grace passed away very unexpectedly. I was not sure that I could continue Fiona’s Hope without her. But in that time when I could not carry my own hope, others stepped up and carried it for me. Fiona’s Hope started to grow and change and become even stronger and more hopeful than ever before.
We have expanded beyond our care packages to sibling totes, memorial gifts, and situational financial support (sometimes gas cards for families traveling a lot to and from the hospital, sometimes support for families that can’t pay bills because of missed work during hospitalizations) and this year we were able to adopt four of our Fiona’s Hope Totes past recipients for Christmas. Through the network of support we have build on social media, we were able to provide all four families with Christmas gifts for everyone, tailored to specific needs and wishes.
The common thread through it all is my angel Fiona. She made an impact on this world during her short stay with us, but I will continue her legacy for the rest of my stay in this world. I will continue to help and support families as best as I can for as long as I can, in her precious name.”
Thank you, Stephanie, for giving us the opportunity to spread the word of Fiona’s Hope and we are honored to give you and your family each a pair of Bearpaws. Also, thank you to Michelle B. for nominating Stephanie and bringing her amazing cause to our attention. She will also receive a free pair of Bearpaws.