The Junior League of Pelham Leads Collaboration with Six Westchester Leagues to Create Special Angel Memory Boxes for Grieving Families In recognition of the nationally recognized Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15, six Westchester Junior Leagues began a month-long collaborative effort to create and distribute 120 memory boxes to local hospitals. The boxes will then be given to parents who have experienced an infant loss. On September 13, 40 women from the Junior League of Bronxville, Central Westchester, Northern Westchester, Pelham, Westchester on the Hudson and Westchester on the Sound, gathered for a painting party at the home of a Pelham League member to cut, assemble, gesso and paint the boxes. The Leagues decorated and filled 20 boxes each during their separate General Membership Meetings in October. The Pelham League met on October 22 and filled each box with forget-me-not seeds, journals, a butterfly (symbol of pregnancy loss) necklace, a footprint card, a candle and a list of references that included books, support groups and websites. Each box also received a card that read “Butterflies are a symbol of transformation of the spirit and the soul. They are the beautiful tiny spark of life that came to us and lighted our lives for a too brief moment before fluttering away. These boxes were made by women of the Junior League of Pelham, many of whom have been affected by loss. You are not alone.” Every year there are 900,000 early pregnancy losses, more than 26,000 (70 per day) stillbirths and more than 78,000 neonatal deaths in the United States. The Special Angel Memory Boxes project was created three years ago by the Junior League of Pelham to address the need for recognizing and dealing with the aftermath of infant loss. The Memory Boxes are given to bereaved parents to acknowledge, validate and hopefully help a little towards filling the void created by a loss. The boxes allow parents, grandparents, older siblings and caregivers a tangible way to remember the baby and, ultimately, help with the mourning process. The JLP will also sponsor a free, six-week counseling session at the Bereavement Center of Westchester for couples who have experienced loss. For information on the session, please contact Patty Donovan-Duff (914) 961.2818, ext. 305.The Junior League of Pelham is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For more information, please visit our website at www.jlpelham.org or call (914) 738-1603.