When parents lose a beloved newborn or a baby born too soon, the knitters and crocheters of Bridget’s Cradles help ease the loss with a special resting place
Even though I love sharing with you information about knitting charities, so you may be introduced to a new charity and possibly even inspired by a cause, sometimes I struggle to do so.
For instance, I struggle when telling you about a charity that is devoted to the parents of babies that are born too soon, stillborn, or pass on shortly after their birth. It’s a heartbreaking topic. But I believe that part of the reason it is so heartbreaking is because it is so seldom spoken of.
So while I struggle to discuss such a charity, I also am so very glad it exists. Because pain never benefits from silence and aloneness. It nearly always benefits from shared burdens and shared stories.
That is why I am proud to introduce, or reintroduce, you to Bridget’s Cradles.
About Bridget’s Cradles
You can watch the story of Bridget’s Cradles above, or read on.
The seeds of Bridget’s Cradles were planted during Ashley Opliger’s pregnancy. Ashley’s mother Teresa was aware that because of Ashley’s pregnancy complications, the baby–who the Opligers planned to name Bridget–might not survive.
Knowing that Bridget might be born prematurely, Teresa decided to begin to knit a special blanket.
She knew a typical hospital receiving blanket would be far too large for a premature baby. She was then inspired to knit the sides of the blanket together to form a cradle shape. Afterward, she added lace and an embroidered cross to signify her faith.
When the baby was born sleeping many weeks premature, the cradle knit by her grandmother turned out to be the perfect size for her. The family members were able to gather and take turns holding Bridget in the cradle, both greeting and saying goodbye before she was buried.
In the “Our Story” page of the Bridget’s Cradles website, Ashley wrote:
In the months following Bridget’s birth and death, Ashley knew that God had now given her a new purpose on this earth. Ashley felt that God wanted to use Bridget’s life to change the world by helping others suffering the loss of their babies.
So Grammy began to knit more cradles and Ashley began to create the ministry with the support of family, friends, and the community. Soon thereafter, the first donation of Bridget’s Cradles was made to Wesley Medical Center, the leading birth hospital in Kansas, where Bridget was born.
And so began Bridget’s Cradles.
How You Can Help
Bridget’s Cradles began as a local charity in Wichita, Kansas. But since its establishment as a nonprofit in 2015, they have donated over 1,250+ cradles to all 50 states in the U.S. You can find a list of their recipient hospitals here.
There are many ways you can help Bridget’s Cradles! Of course, the one you’re probably most interested in is the knitting or crocheting of Cradles.
If you wish to volunteer, Bridget’s Cradles asks that you visit this page and fill out the application form listed here.
Once your volunteer application is processed, you’ll be sent some electronic forms to sign and send back. These forms offer the organizational guidelines and policies. When they receive your forms, you will receive official Bridget’s Cradles patterns and instructions.
If you’re interested in seeing more Cradles, you can visit this page. You’ll see how Cradles are adorned before they are donated, and you’ll also learn how Cradles are used.
Some other ways you can help Bridget’s Cradles include:
- For those who live in or near Wichita, KS, they can always use help with sewing and administrative tasks.
- They can always use certain supplies to help them prepare cradles for their homes, like ribbons, lace, and charms. You can find a full listing of the supplies Bridget’s Cradles gladly accepts here. (Please note: they do not need knitting or crochet supplies, as their volunteers happily use their own stashes.)
- Want to donate financially? Bridget’s Cradles, as a nonprofit organization, can always use your donations. You can visit this page to make a monetary donation.
Few things are more rewarding than helping a bereaved family memorialize a beloved infant. Bridget’s Cradles offers a beautiful way to help you do just that.