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.- Greater Houston is hosting our annual Walk To Remember in Houston, TX on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Bammel Church of Christ.
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 21, 2019 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 and babies are welcome too. Please only register for the number of people old enough to have their own pinwheels.
How long does The Walk last?
The duration of the ceremony (beginning with the ceremony until a short distance walked to 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 dove release 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 dove release, it is yours to remove from the tree and keep. Please do not remove your ornament during the middle of ceremony. This year, we are giving each person a pinwheel for each baby they are remembering, pink for girl, blue for boy, and white for unknown. These pinwheels are for you to take home to remember your baby by placing them inside your home, in your yard, or at the cemetery. We are also providing markers for everyone to write their baby’s name and a message to their baby on their pinwheel.
NOTE: The Walk to Remember is an event to remember babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death (up to 1-year of age.) Please help us be good stewards of the donations made to our ministry by not registering to remember older children or adults. Thank you for your assistance in ensuring our donations are dedicated to supporting infant loss families.
How do I order a 2019 commemorative T-Shirt?
M.E.N.D.- Greater Houston 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. All t-shirts will be picked up in the Worship Center foyer 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. Orders will be accepted through September 18th.
*Note: Shirts will NOT be available for sale at the Walk this year. To ensure getting a 2019 Walk to Remember shirt, you must pre-order.
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 18. 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. Email Stormy Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Stormy Mitchell at stormym@mend 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.)
What do I need to do the day of The Walk?
Beginning at 12 p.m., our team will be ready to assist you for check in and ornament pick up. You will also be able to visit the raffle, pinwheel pick-up station, t-shirt table, and memory tables until the Walk begins at 1:00 p.m.
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.
Items to consider bringing to the Walk:
Items for the memory tables
A pen for the tags we attach to our pinwheels to write a message to your baby
Cash and credit cards if you wish to make purchases at the raffle
What exactly 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 ceremony begins. The raffle will re-open for 15 minutes following the dove release. At the Walk, we accept cash, check, and all major credit cards.
Winners of the raffle will be announced at the conclusion of the ceremony in the foyer of the Worship Center. **You (or a family member) MUST be present to win.
What do I bring to display on the Memory Table?
In the Worship Center foyer, 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. 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. *We have limited space to display these special items, so please bring 1 item per baby.
Will there still be a balloon release at the Walk to Remember?
No, due to concerns with the environment and local ordinances we have chosen to replace the balloons with pinwheels and have a dove release to conclude the Walk to Remember ceremony.
Note: these birds are not released into the wild. After the release, the birds fly home to where they are cared for by a family.
How can I order a brick to be placed in the M.E.N.D. Garden of Hope?
The M.E.N.D. Garden of Hope was dedicated in October 2016 and is located in Irving, TX. You DO NOT have to live in Texas to have a brick in the Garden, however, 2019 brick orders are now closed. Bricks in the Garden of Hope are installed once a year just before the Dallas/Fort Worth 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. 2020 brick orders will be open from October 5, 2019 through August 15, 2020. Bricks ordered during that time will be installed prior to the 2020 DFW Walk to Remember.
For Additional Questions
Please contact Stormy 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.