The Roots of the Organization
In 1977, St. John's Hospital in Springfield, IL, along with area physicians and community members, became actively involved in meeting the needs of parents who had experienced the death of their baby due to pregnancy loss, stillbirth or early infant death. It was there that the mutual-help group S.H.A.R.E. was organized and had its initial growth.
The Share philosophy encompasses supportive hospital care and follow-up support as well as mutual-help support. All facets are seen as one very important unit, although the development was adopted as a gradual unfolding process. Growth has continued over the years, and a new name was adopted in the summer of 1991: Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc.
The Application Process
If you are interested in starting a new Share Chapter, the most important requirement is the desire and commitment to helping families who have suffered the devastating death of a baby, at any stage of pregnancy or early infancy. If you have suffered such a loss yourself, Share does require that it has been at least 18 months since your loss before you begin the process of starting your group. Please contact Jenn Stachula or call 1-800-821-6819 to obtain an application packet and discuss your desire to start a group.
The Benefits to Being Part of the Share Network
1. Credibility and recognition as a Share Chapter - As a pioneer in addressing the issues associated with pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and early infant death issues, Share is highly respected and acknowledged as the definitive resource on the needs and rights of bereaved parents and their families. Healthcare professionals, clergy, funeral directors, researchers, and authors come to Share as their primary source to enhance their knowledge and understanding of specific grief issues and community awareness concerns.
2. Support and direction from National Share - Initial and ongoing support in organizing and maintaining a Share Local Chapter is always available from National Share’s Executive Director and staff members. Timely, personal responses to inquiries from the Local Chapters are a top priority for National Share.
3. A 20% discount on the purchase of materials from the Perinatal Bereavement Resource Catalog - Our catalog contains the most updated publications/resources on pregnancy and infant loss issues, which have been reviewed by members of National Share. Additional items available for purchase are videos, merchandise with the Share logo, and informational brochures created by National Share on grief resolution issues, how and where to get support, ideas for memorializing babies, and answers to frequently asked questions.
4. Access to the bi-monthly newsletter, Sharing - National Share’s online newsletter contains articles, poems, and tributes written by parents, families, staff members, and professionals. The theme of each newsletter is often related to a specific grief issue or season of the year. It is the main form of communication from National Share on upcoming events and important dates. Our support groups and Share Local Chapters throughout the world are also welcome to submit information regarding their own local programs and events. The Share Local Chapter Facilitator and the Share Local Chapter will receive a limited copyright license for distribution of the newsletter to the Share Local Chapter’s bereaved parents and families. Copies can also be printed to be included in the Share Local Chapter Facility’s information packets given to bereaved families.
5. National listing of perinatal loss support groups and resources. National Share maintains lists of nationwide support groups, support organizations, books and other publications, and sources for memorial items. Share Local Chapter and/or Share Local Chapter Facilitator will receive an updated list of these resources each year.
6. Online Share support resources. The Share Local Chapter will have unlimited access to Share’s extensive online support resources, which include message boards, online chat rooms, blog site, Facebook pages, and a collection of other online reference sites. The Share message boards consist of five (5) topics where users can post messages related to bereavement, parenting after a loss, infertility, early pregnancy loss, special remembrances, etc. All messages are read and approved by a National Share moderator prior to being posted. In addition to the message boards, a bereaved parent chat room and pregnancy after loss chat room are available to users twenty-four (24) hours a day. A moderated chat is hosted on the first Tuesday of every month at 8:00 pm CST.
National Share also has two closed Facebook Group pages, Share Bereaved Parent Peer Support and Share Subsequent Pregnancy Peer Support, where users are invited to join for peer support. The non-profit page, Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc., is also available for peer support and updates on legislative and other current issues related to the care of bereaved families.
All Share Local Chapter members are invited to join the Share Caregiver Network on Facebook. Share Local Chapter and Share Local Chapter Facilitator will have the benefit of communicating with fellow Share caregivers across the globe on issues related to the care of bereaved families, support groups, planning memorials, companioning, and fundrg id
7. Start Up Kit National Share will provide Share Local Chapter a start-up kit that will include the following:
- Sharing and Caring: Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Share Program. This comprehensive guide will help Share Local Chapter get off to a successful beginning.
- A copy of the ritual planning guide Bittersweet...Hello, Goodbye, an invaluable resource for helping parents plan memorial services, including group memorial services such as walks, balloon releases, etc. This resource is a compilation of poems, songs, and other resources gathered by National Share.
- Sample copies of National Share’s informational trifolds and booklets covering grief and perinatal bereavement topics.
- Previous issues of Sharing, the bi-monthly newsletter written for bereaved parents.
- Share logos in various sizes for use on Share Local Chapter’s own stationary, literature and printed materials.
- Share Walk for Remembrance & Hope Planning Packet.
Requirements and Responsibilities of Share Chapters
As a new Share Chapter leader, you will need to attend a Sharing and Caring Training Workshop sometime within the first year of the start up of your Share Chapter. This training gives an excellent foundation for everything from running support group meetings to gaining the support of your local hospital staff. Other requirements can be found in the Share Local Chapter Agreement that is included in the application packet.
Chapter Start-Up Fees
Once your application is reviewed and accepted by the Share staff, you will be sent an invoice for your start-up fee as follows:
- Hospital / Organization based group $600*
Once you are established as a Share Chapter, you will also pay yearly fees invoiced in July as follows:
- Hospital/Organization based group: $300
Once you have received your start-up kit, pleas contact the National Share Office when you are ready to announce your group is up and running. We ask all of our Share Chapters to keep in close contact with us so we can maintain accurate contact information as well as help with any needs you may have.