Our Austin area MOMs started what we hope/plan to be a new tradition this year. We teamed up with sMiles 4 Sammy and the Palliative Care Team from Dell Children’s to host a special dinner and craft event. We invited families that have lost a child. sMiles 4 Sammy provided dinner, palliative hosted the event and Mommies of Miracles brought in some very special crafts. The families all shared stories of their angels as we ate and decorated ornaments to honor all of their children. Some families wrote letters, some decorated, and some brought special mementos from home to fill the ornaments. It was a great night, great company, yummy food and we made some pretty amazing ornaments.
After the ornaments had time to dry a group of volunteers, including the family of the little girl that initially inspired this idea, met on 360 (a lovely scenic highway in the Austin hill country). During the holidays people decorate the cedar trees that grow along the road. Each year there are more and more trees decorated. Some trees are done by organizations, some by families, and others by friends. The trees range from elaborate decorations, to some that are even decorated in underwear. You can see just about any type of tree decorations you can imagine.
The weather was beautiful, we found a great tree in the middle of a big group, and it was a lot of fun to pick just the right branch for each of the unique and sentimental ornaments. A few local media representatives came out to capture the event as well. Thanks to them, we hope that more people will know about the tree so that they can join us next year.
KUT took some great photos while we were decorating and shared a Flickr album with us.
KXAN- Austin’s NBC affiliate came out to film the tree decorating and put together a great news story about the tree, the little girl that inspired the tree, the decorations, and so much more.
KOOP radio host, and avid Mommies of Miracles supporter, Greg also put together a little clip of our tree and the 360 tree tradition.
After the holidays we have a group scheduled to remove the ornaments. We will then take the ornaments to the palliative office so that any family that wishes to keep their ornament may go and pick it up.
We are looking forward to working with sMiles 4 Sammy, palliative care, and the wonderfully supportive Austin community again next year. We hope that this will become a new tradition for Austin families. Please be sure to share this if you have a friend or family member in the Austin area that has lost a child and may be interested.
2014 Ornament Decoration Dinner Photos provided by sMiles 4 Sammy