SandsQ Butterfly Drive 2016

Welcome to the 2016 SandsQ Butterfly Charity Drive, the first in what we hope will be an annual event to get a jump start on the year and provide Queensland hospitals with memory bags and bereavement clothing.

SandsQ Butterfly began in 2013 and with the help many we made our first bags to be sent out to hospitals. As we spoke more with hospitals we found there was a need for clothing for the tiniest of babies and so began making bereavement clothing for babies between 12 weeks and 30 weeks gestation. Our aim is to provide appropriate, gentle and warm clothes to softly wrap these delicate babies in and give them respect and dignity of items made especially for them.

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The feedback we have received is that parents are always so incredibly touched that someone handmade something just for their baby. At a time when parents feel most alone, these items let them know they are not and someone is thinking of them. Hospitals are also appreciative of the quality and appropriateness of the clothing and the professional way it is donated, making it easier for midwives to access when needed.

Thanks to the many crafters we have met who are making bereavement clothing for the program, we have donated over 300 pieces to hospitals in Queensland in 2015. We have now started an online group for our crafters to chat, share patterns and connect as we come from all corners of Queensland.

This year also brings a few changes to the SandsQ Butterfly thanks to the generosity of supporters and volunteers in our community.

We have new bag design, thanks to Josepha from Nokobelle, that is easy to make and still has that lovely handmade quality. The memory bags are made to specific guidelines and we are looking for experienced seamstresses to help us reach our target of 300 memory bags in 2016.

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Talented Artist, Esther Anghart, gave us special permission to use her artwork, with which a beautiful Special Memories Book, and matching Certificate of Life and Print Certificate (ink less print kit) was designed by our volunteer Lyndell and with the guidance of the Virtually Done Team at Volunteering Queensland.

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SandsQ Butterfly Volunteer Kate has developed a new gift for women who have experienced a miscarriage. ‘Flutter’ is a handmade fabric envelope containing a poem, small crochet butterfly, Sands support reference card and gift card. The gift card allows mothers to request, if they wish, a small set of beanie, booties and blanket from us as a keepsake for their baby.

Flutter

 

Last year we supplied items to eight hospitals and this year we hope to increase that number.

How You Can Help

Find out more about the SandsQ Butterfly Drive HERE and how you can help whether you craft or not.

Follow us on Facebook to see the latest news, FB@SandsQButterfly

Join the online event to see what we are making FB@SandsQButterflyCharityDrive

Sign up to the eNewsletter to keep updated with donation requests, donations and fundraising

Join our online crafters group for support and a chat FB@SandsQButterflyCraftersNetwork

 

or contact Lyndell at events@sandsqld.org.au

 

Thank you so much for your interest in helping us and making the Drive successful.

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Volunteer Spotlight – Kate Minto

As part of National Volunteer Week we are going to introduce you to some of our amazing volunteers. Sands Queensland could not operate the way it does without these inspiring people who give their time, energy and heart so enthusiastically.

 

Our first volunteer in the spotlight is Kate Minto.

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Kate Minto (right) and Cairns Regional Contact Nerissa

 

Kate first came to Sands for support in  2012 after the death of her son Fletcher and over time has become an extremely valuable volunteer in Cairns as well as on a state level.

In 2014 Kate became Butterfly Coordinator in Cairns, organising the making and distribution of the Sands Queensland memory bag and bereavement clothing. Her dedication to her role has seen her donate over 30 memory bags and over 100 items of clothing to hospitals locally and further in North Queensland.

Donations ready to go to hospital

Donations ready to go to hospital

 

‘It is my absolute pleasure to nominate Kate Minto as a volunteer who has made a difference at Sands. Kate has made an amazing difference to the work Sands does in supporting families across Queensland, including Cairns.

Kate has worked tirelessly to supply Cairns and surrounding areas hospitals with items for families who are touched by pregnancy and infant loss. She is always the first to put her hand up to volunteer for any event in Cairns and played a crucial role in the fundraising and purchase of the Cuddle Cot and camera for the Cairns Hospital. Just recently Kate organised an event that fundraised over $1000 for Sands and is running the Queensland Online Mother’s Day Handmade Market, the Cairns Bereaved Mother’s Day morning tea and Walk to Remember in Cairns this year. Kate’s approach to all of these activities is done with care and respect for all those she works with.

Kate is also a parent supporter for Sands, online, at support groups and on the 1300 line. She has such compassion, genuineness and warmth about her that people really appreciate.

Kate does all this while juggling three small children and a household. Kate is an amazing volunteer for Sands Queensland.

~ Nerissa, Sands Queensland Committee member and Cairns Regional Contact

When asked why she volunteers for Sands, Kate said

‘I have been thinking about this and for me something I have found at all the events and through talking to people is that what we do really does make a difference and it helps people to feel like they are not alone. So many people feel alone in their grief, & I felt the same way until I found Sands.  It is so wonderful to be given the opportunity to volunteer and give something back whilst helping other families know that there is support.’

Thank you Kate from all of us at Sands Queensland. We truly do appreciate all that you have done and continue to do.

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Sew Beautiful

Post by Georgia Bedford

Butterfly is the new Sands Queensland memory bag for newly bereaved parents. Volunteer Lyndell Price launched Butterfly on the 12th October 2013 at the annual Brisbane Sands Walk to Remember.

Memory boxes are not a new idea, Sands has pushed the envelope and created the new generation of memory box. Liaising closely with hospitals and bereaved parents the new memory box is a bag, which means it can fold flat, this is key with storage at a premium in hospitals. The memory bag has staple items of a blanket, ‘Precious Memories of Our Baby’ book and pen, Certificate of Life, Inkless Print Kit and Sand resources including a ‘Moments’ brochure with suggestion for parents to create memories. Being a bag it is easy for the nurses to add specific items as needed.

Lyndell is busy creating a network of bereaved mums who make and distribute Butterfly to their local hospital. This project enables bereaved mums to actively support the bereaved community, and puts sewing skills to good work.

Sadly the number of miscarriage, stillbirths and neonatal deaths is still too high, and Butterfly is in demand. So to help the Butterfly network, bereaved parents, grandparents, family and friends have been called upon to learn how to create these beautiful bags. The first sewing tutorial was held on the 8th February 2014 at the Uniting Church behind the Sands Brisbane office. Judie, Leonie and Nicky from Sunshine Linus, the ladies who created the pattern for the bag, showed Luana, Sandra, Anna, Kim and her mother-in-law Edna, Georgia and her mother, Colleen, how to create the beautiful Butterfly bags.

Many hands make light work

Many hands make light work

A demonstration on how to cut the material, irons at the ready, and then into the sewing. Matching panels, ironing on wadding, stitching in feet, lining up handles. After a very productive morning, we paused for a bite, cup of tea and a chat, we then returned to the machines for the tricky part … sewing in the zipper. At the end of the day we all ended up with a little tote bag to carry home our sewing supplies and the know-how to create many Butterfly bags for our own community.

Showing the finished bags

Showing off our bags to Kay

Kay McGrath from Channel 7’s Making a Difference joined us on the day, to interview Judy Clarkson, one of Sands founding members, Lyndell, Luana and Kim. Utilising the day to promote Sands Queensland to the broader community and to demonstrate the positive power of grief.

Kim being interviewed by the Channel 7 crew

Kim being interviewed by the Channel 7 crew

A special thank you goes out to Sunshine Linus and the wonderful Judie, Nicky and Leonie, for sharing their skills with us on the day. Sunshine Linus has also made over 40 bags for Sands to distribute to newly bereaved parents. Thank you ladies!

How can you help?

Become a Butterfly Coordinator for your area.

Make it

Request the memory bag pattern and make a sample bag. Once your sample has been approved we can send you material to make memory bags for Sands Queensland.

Check out our patterns and see what you can make.

All donated items can be sent to: PO Box 373, Rural View Qld, 4740.

Buy it

Follow our material guidelines and donate appropriate material.

Donate small white washcloths for the memory bag.
Sponsor a memory bag in memory of your baby at www. sandsqld.org.au

Support it

Follow one of our Butterfly Coordinators to find out what is specifically needed.

Share the project with your crafty friends and family, get together, make a sewing circle, encourage others to help out.
If you would like further information please contact Lyndell at events@sandsqld.com