Walk To Remember FAQ
In 1988, former President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. To commemorate this declaration, many infant loss organizations across the country, such as M.E.N.D., host what is known as a "Walk to Remember." Unlike the name may imply, the Walk is not a fundraiser, nor a "walk-a-thon." Instead, it is a beautiful ceremony to remember our babies who have died. M.E.N.D. is hosting our annual Walk To Remember in Irving, TX (Dallas / Fort Worth metropolitan area) on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at 1 p.m. at Calvary Church.
Is there a fee to participate in the Walk?
No. M.E.N.D. is proud to offer all of our services and ceremonies at no cost to the families that participate. Donations are accepted and appreciated at any time throughout the year. Donors who give $25 or more prior to September 15, 2018 will be considered as a sponsor of the Walk to Remember and will be acknowledged in the Walk program. Family sponsorship levels are available as detailed on the donation page.
Can family members and friends come to the Walk with me?
Absolutely. Children are welcome too, but we highly recommend that babies and toddlers are in strollers. Please only register for the number of people old enough to sit in their own seat and have their own balloon(s).
How long does the Walk last?
The duration of the ceremony (beginning with the actual short distance walked until the balloon release) is between 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours.
How far is the actual Walk?
Not far at all. The Walk is a quiet time of reflection and consists of walking from the church, across the parking lot, to the designated area where the ceremony is held. The Walk is very slow-paced as families remember their babies.
Why do I need to register for the Walk?
Because M.E.N.D. is a 501(c)(3) funded solely by donations, we need your help to ensure we are stewarding our donations with care. The cost for us to honor each baby at the Walk to Remember is approximately $40-$50 per baby. We provide a special ornament with your baby's name and birth / death date on it. One ornament per baby is given to each family. You may place this ornament on one of the M.E.N.D. trees at the designated time during the ceremony. Following the ceremony, it is yours to remove from the tree and keep. Additionally, we provide seating for our guests, so it is important to let us know how many people will be with you so we know how many chairs to set up. The Walk concludes with a beautiful balloon release in which each person attending the Walk will receive one balloon for each baby they are representing, and the balloons are color specific according to the gender of the baby. For example, pink for a girl, blue for a boy, and white if the gender is unknown.
How do I order a 2018 commemorative T-Shirt?
M.E.N.D. offers commemorative t-shirts for each Walk to Remember. T-shirts are $20 each and can be ordered online at the time you register for the Walk to Remember. We encourage all shirts to be pre-ordered as only limited amounts will be available at the Walk this year. All pre-order t-shrits will be picked up in the Awakening building at the Walk To Remember. Pre-order payment is accepted through PayPal, but it is not necessary to have a PayPal account to complete the purchase. Pre-orders will be accepted through September 15th.
Please note, the only way to guarantee a commemorative t-shirt is to pre-order. Any extra t-shirts will be available at the Walk to Remember on a first come, first serve basis in the Awakening Building. At the Walk, we accept cash, check, and all major credit cards.
What are the Memory Signs?
Personalized Memory Signs are available for $50 with your baby's name and DOB/DOD. Signs must be ordered by September 15. All signs ordered will be displayed along the pathway for the Walk. The signs are yours to keep to take home at the conclusion of the Walk. M.E.N.D. will gladly reserve a place for your sign for subsequent annual Walks for an additional $25 donation each year.
If you have a Memory Sign from a previous year, you will need to drop off your sign, along with a $25 donation to M.E.N.D., at one of several area locations. Click HERE for a list of drop-off locations. If you choose to drop it off at the M.E.N.D. support group location, the ONLY time you may do this is on a support group night. Please do not attach any sort of decorations or adornments to your sign.
What if I have registered for The Walk and the number of people I registered as attending has changed — or I am now unable to attend?
Please do not register again. Instead, please contact Rebekah Mitchell to report your updated information..
What if I registered for the Walk and I am unable to attend - do I still receive my ornament?
Priority goes to the families who actually attend the Walk, not necessarily to those who register. If we need extra ornaments for those who attend the Walk but did not register before the online registration is closed and we run out of extra ornaments, we will begin to disassemble the unclaimed ornaments and personalize them for those who attend (a good reason to arrive early to check in).
If you registered for the Walk, but were unable to attend, and if we still have your personalized ornament, we will gladly mail your ornament to you for a $15 donation to M.E.N.D. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org after October 9 to see if we still have your ornament. Unclaimed ornaments will only be made available for two weeks following the Walk.
What do I need to do the day of The Walk?
We ask that you arrive at the Walk 45 minutes to 1 hour before the start time (start time is at 1pm) to check in and pick up your ornament. We have Memory Tables set up in which you are invited to bring a memento or two to display and share with others. Additionally, we host a raffle which helps us offset the expenses of this ceremony. Please make plans to visit the raffle while waiting for the event to begin. Wear casual, comfortable clothes that are conducive to the weather. Many families wear the M.E.N.D. Walk t-shirt or have personalized shirts made in memory of their baby.
What is the Raffle?
Although the Walk to Remember is not a fundraising event, we do host a large raffle to help offset the expenses of the ceremony. There are several tables full of items, such as restaurant and department store gift certificates, sporting events, health and beauty gift cards and discounts, etc. The raffle tables will open at 12:00, and will close just before the Walk begins. The raffle will NOT re-open following the ceremony. At the Walk, we accept cash, check, and all major credit cards.
Winners of the raffle will be posted at the conclusion of the ceremony in the parking lot and in the auditorium of the Awakening Building. We strongly request you stay so we do not have to contact you and arrange for you to receive your winnings; however, it is not necessary to be present to claim your item(s).
What do I bring to display on the Memory Table?
In the Awakening Building, we have tables set up for you to display items in honor of your baby. Families bring photos, shadow boxes, stuffed animals, scrapbooks, etc. to set up on the tables and share with others. We offer small cards you can fill out to tell others your baby’s name, DOB/DOD, and write a little note of love. Bringing items for the Memory Tables is optional and there is no cost to display items. Please be sure to claim your items at the conclusion of the ceremony.
How can I order a brick to be placed in the Garden of Hope?
2018 brick orders are now closed. Bricks in the Garden of Hope are installed once a year just before the Walk to Remember each October. If you are interested in ordering a brick, you can place your order on our webpage under Garden of Hope. 2019 brick orders will be open from October 6, 2019 through July 15, 2019. Bricks ordered during that time will be installed prior to the 2019 Walk to Remember.
For Additional Questions
Please contact Rebekah Mitchell.
PHOTOGRAPHY NOTICE: Please be aware that professional photographers will be onsite during the ceremony and that your photo, if taken, could be used in M.E.N.D. marketing materials. No compensation will be given to individuals whose photos are used.