(Rock Island, Ill.) – Brittany Day, a Fayetteville, North Carolina mother, describes herself as a “loss mom” following the stillbirths of her twins, Sophie and Ruby. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services estimates about 800 children were stillborn in 2018 (most recent data available). Ms. Day, who has channeled her grief into raising money to educate for safe pregnancies and stillbirth prevention, has been awarded a $10,000 Nation of Neighbors℠ grant from Royal Neighbors of America, one of the first and largest women-led insurers in the U.S.
Ms. Day is co-chair of the NC Sandhills Chapter of the national stillbirth nonprofit organization, The Star Legacy Foundation, which is dedicated to healthy pregnancy outcomes and the prevention of fetal death. Locally, the Sandhills NC Chapter partners with hospitals, physicians, and counselors to provide educational and grief counseling resources for families and their children who have lost a child to stillbirth. “We are humbled, blessed, and excited to win the grant,” says Ms. Day. “There are many causes of fetal death, and we want to save as many babies as possible,” she explains.
Ms. Day says she hopes the grant will provide outreach to more families, especially low-income mothers who may not have access to educational material on safe pregnancies. And, when a stillbirth occurs, there are myriad emotions following the loss, even if the mother becomes pregnant again. “It can be a traumatic experience for children who were to be siblings, as well.” One particular project to be funded is a book Day and her daughter, Eliza, co-authored to speak directly to children about loss. “Children’s voices need to be heard. Eliza was three years old when we lost her two sisters and we grieved together.” The new book’s title, “I'm STILL... A Big Sister,” is geared for children to help process grief. Some of the grant monies will be used for illustration, publishing costs, and distribution to grieving families. “Our goal is to let families know they are not alone.”
Lena Holland, Director, Human Resources, at Royal Neighbors, will lead the virtual award presentation. “We are honored to support the Sandhill North Carolina Chapter of the Star Legacy Foundation. Our Nation of Neighbors grant recognizes Brittany Day as a beacon of hope for women and their families. For more than 125 years, Royal Neighbors has sought to empower women to make a positive impact in their communities. We believe that Ms. Day and the Star Legacy Foundation fulfill on this mission for an often-overlooked group,” adds Ms. Holland.
Nation of Neighbors is a Royal Neighbors of America philanthropy program that provides financial assistance to individuals who have a plan to start or expand a business, organization, program, or nonprofit that helps women and/or girls in their community. To date, more than $2 million has been awarded nationwide.
About Royal Neighbors of America
Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities. In 1895, Royal Neighbors was founded as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children and the importance of localized philanthropy. Headquartered in Rock Island, Illinois, with an operation in Mesa, Arizona, Royal Neighbors serves more than 215,000 members.
Marie Young, Manager, Communications
Marie.Young@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8280