When I originally started this project I thought I could do it all on my own; out of my own pocket. I researched how many boxes would be needed every year. It seemed as though I would need 12. I dropped the first 3 boxes off at my hospital on November 10th. As of January 26th 4 have been given out and the hospital has another 5 on hand. Sadly, my original figure may only be half of what I need.

Currently the boxes are given out to families at Victoria General Hospital whose babies have died from at least 18 weeks gestation. The current standards of what constitutes a ‘stillbirth’ varies from 20/22 weeks gestation. Anything prior to that date is considered a miscarriage. The contents of the boxes are suited to a baby that the families will be able to hold and see. Prior to 18 weeks the babies are usually just too little for some of the items in the boxes.

My hope is that every woman that comes to the hospital to deliver a stillborn baby (or a baby that dies at birth) will be given a Benjamin Box. Eventually I would like to see the boxes offered at more hospitals than just Victoria General. My long-term plan is to expand to other hospitals on Vancouver Island and then branch out to hospitals throughout Canada that show a need for this type of support.

As it stands now the contents of each Benjamin Box costs about $15. The box itself was already in place at Victoria General; donated by another woman. These paper mache boxes are painted by a local Painters Guild and are quite beautiful. The baby gowns that are included in the boxes have been donated by Mothering Touch. Everything else has been provided by myself and generous donations from family and friends. Eventually I would like to include more items in the boxes, but what is in there now is a great start.

We have run into a problem now. The woman who was donating the boxes may not be able to do so anymore. Currently the hospital only has the 5 that I have already prepared. There are no more empty boxes. The tentative solution is to have the items in a large zip-close bag and wrap it up in the small knit blanket tied with ribbon. It’s a fine temporary solution. But what I like the most about the boxes is that they are sturdy and useful as a memorial box. The families can keep everything in the boxes including any cards, photos, special clothing, etc. We even keep the container with Benjamin’s ashes in ours. I know that box contains everything I need of his. It’s all safely in one beautifully painted box. It wouldn’t be the same if it were in a zip-close bag. And I can’t imagine having gone out after his birth to buy a box to hold it all. So now it looks like I will have to provide the boxes too. I know I don’t have to, but I do feel the box is an important part.

I have had many people tell me that they would like to donate to Benjamin Boxes. It is from this positive feedback that I have decided to create a site for the boxes and feature an easy way to make an online donation. I know these boxes are appreciated beyond words by the families that receive them. They are a very good thing; A very needed thing. Any money donated would go towards creating more boxes. That’s it. I am not looking to make anything at all from this project. I am doing it because I have been there. I know how devastating it is to be told your unborn baby has died. I know how alone you feel at that time. If I can help other parents by letting them know that there are many people that care then I have gotten all that matters out of doing these boxes.

Thank you.


One Response to “Why Donate?”

  1. Samantha said

    I am not financially able to give to your project, though I will keep it at the front of my mind should I become able, however if there is anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to tell me.
    I will be praying earnestly for your project.

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