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miscarriage, bereavement
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The Cuddle Cot gives grieving parents a chance to say goodbye.

After a little over three months of pregnancy, Ashley Agnitch got the heartbreaking news no parent ever wants to receive. Her daughter, Greta Lynn, had a genetic abnormality and was not expected to survive pregnancy.

Searching for solace, Agnitch discovered an innovative resource called the Cuddle Cot, a cooling bassinet that keeps a baby’s body from deteriorating—without making it too cold—for days. During the most difficult event in a parent’s life, they get a precious gift: time.



Time to touch. Time to take photos. Time to hold a baptism. Time to introduce the family. Time to say goodbye.


The Cuddle Cot had been unavailable to Agnitch, which was yet another tragedy. But against all odds, Greta had been born and gave her mother “five beautiful hours of life.” However, as Agnitch became a labor and delivery nurse, she could see an overwhelming need for this kind of bereavement support in other families experiencing the loss of a child. And how difficult it was to get.

“I wanted to give local families precious time to bond with their babies,” Agnitch told news sources. So she started a fundraiser to purchase multiple Cuddle Cots, making the resource available to families at two birthing centers on California's Central Coast.

Agnitch writes on the fundraiser’s website, “I started this fundraising campaign to bring Cuddle Cots to local hospitals. I am beyond grateful to share that through generous donations we have been able to provide a Cuddle Cot to both Marian Regional Medical Center and French Hospital. My goal is to continue to provide high volume hospitals with Cuddle Cots. Through this campaign we have also identified a need for digital cameras and photo printers for the birthing units. We cherish our photos with Greta and it is one way we can share her life with our young kids. We would like to provide photos for families that are unable to have a professional photographer at their delivery or during their stay. Beyond your financial contribution you will be giving the gift of time for bereaved families to preserve a lasting memory with their child before saying their final goodbyes.”

So far, Agnitch has raised over $12,000.

Without this type of resource, babies are often immediately placed in the hospital’s morgue, giving parents little time to grieve. Hopes and dreams are snatched away, both figuratively and literally. According to The New York Times, only 400 to 500 hospitals in the country have Cuddle Cots available, mostly donated. Considering that one in four pregnancies end with child loss, there is no doubt that there is a need for more cots. Agnitch, and others like her, are helping parents create memories and say their goodbyes.

Nothing can ever truly take away the heartbreak of losing a child. But stories like this are a gentle reminder that, through innovation and compassion, support during a difficult time is out there. Even in our deepest pain, the opportunity to create beautiful, lasting memories is available to us. And that is something worth cherishing.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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