The Brittons know firsthand how devastating and lonely the experience of miscarriage can be.
That’s why they founded Olie’s Footprints, a nonprofit organization that provides support to families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, and child loss. Named in honor of baby Oliver Paxton, who they lost in a miscarriage in May 2016, the organization supports and encourage families that lose a baby or child.
“Losing Olie was the most devastating loss in our lives. No one knew what to say or do for us,” said director Sara Britton. “We began to have conversations with friends, family, and complete strangers about the dark days of loss. All the conversations involved one common theme — loneliness. From those conversations, Olie’s Footprints was born.”
Upon a family member or friend’s request, she sends a loss package to a family in mourning. The packages are customized to each family, taking into consideration that siblings may be grieving as well, and includes a special keepsake, tissues, and a hand-written note of support and encouragement.
With one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage, the need for loss packages has increased.
Olie’s Footprints will hold several fundraisers for its efforts:
• A remembrance walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at the Beaver Creek Reservation Metro Park on North Lake Street in Amherst. Local families are invited to attend to honor their lost babies and children. After the 1.5-mile walk, the group will head to Peet’s Coffee and Tea Shop, 8000 Oak Point Rd., Amherst, for coffee or tea and to make a craft to take home in remembrance of their babies and children. The family-friendly event is free but attendees are encouraged to take money for the coffee or tea.
• A rummage sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 at 34901 Detroit Rd., Avon. Baked goods and lemonade will also be available for purchase. All profits go back into supporting Olie’s Footprints families.
• A car wash will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 8 at Marathon, 960 North Leavitt Rd., Amherst. Baked goods will also be available for purchase.
For more information on Olie’s Footprints or to donate, visit www.oliesfootprints.com.