At one time or another, each of us has uttered this phrase or, at least, felt the sentiment. When we want to help or feel the urge to help a person or situation, it can be paralyzing if an obvious answer isn’t available.
I have felt this emotion many, many times when trying to advance stillbirth prevention efforts. Sometimes there aren’t answers to difficult questions. Sometimes the issues seem too big for a single person to attack. Sometimes I am thinking about ideas I’ve never considered before or that I know nothing about! Other stillbirth parents and advocates often express to me the exact same thoughts. While it’s comforting to know I’m not alone, it’s even more frustrating that so many people want to make good things happen, but aren’t able to for a variety of reasons.
However – I believe they ARE able to! And I have found a group that I believe will help relieve the helpless feeling so many of us have! Star Legacy Foundation is partnering with First Candle, 1st Breath, Babies Remembered, and representatives of stillbirth families (particularly Debbie Haine) to form a coalition that will address these issues. I believe there is power in numbers. When a group of highly motivated, passionate, and talented individuals work TOGETHER toward a common cause – nothing is impossible!! It also means we are no longer helpless!
This group is now known as Action for Stillbirth Awareness and Prevention (ASAP). While the groups mentioned above have started this effort, this is a group for EVERYONE. If you, your organization, your health care providers, your company, your family, or any other group believes that stillbirth prevention and awareness is important – we ask you to join hands with us. Together we intend to tackle many issues in this arena including stillbirth awareness programs, prevention efforts, encouraging research, advocating for families, supporting legislation, and more. There is no reason for us to sit back, suffer in silence, and feel helpless anymore.
So, what can you do???
First, join our efforts by showing your support through this online survey . This is to gather everyone together and be able to communicate more effectively. You are not required to make a donation or make any specific commitments – just show your support for stillbirth babies and their families. It will also serve as visible proof to legislators, financial supporters, health policy organizations, and others how many people see the importance of these efforts. Share the link with your friends and others you know who believe in this cause.
Third, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org about what you think a group like this should address and how you’d be willing to help.
The above mentioned groups are gathering again this month to do more organizing and planning. At that time, we will begin asking for talents, resources, expertise, and support in many areas. Be thinking about how you would like to help or what you might have to offer.
I no longer feel helpless because I have seen and felt the passion and energy of thousands of people in the United States who think it’s not acceptable for 26,000 babies to be stillborn EVERY YEAR in this country alone. If all that energy is focused in the same direction and working together – we can accomplish more than we could imagine. Please join in!
Alone the best we can do is grieve, but TOGETHER we can do so much more.