Richmond, Virginia Chapter
The death of a child is an experience that comes with many complex emotions. Because no one should feel they are alone in traveling this journey of grief, our facilitators, volunteers and members strive to create a community of support, compassion, validation, and emotional safety. Through our support groups, gatherings and events we provide bereaved families with connection to others who have walked this road of loss and pain. We understand and we are here. Each member and volunteer in our chapter has lived the experience of loss.
Currently, we offer two monthly support groups in the near West end of Richmond. One for bereaved parents grieving the death of a child at any age, from any cause, another for pregnancy after the loss of a child and one for early miscarriage. Please visit our Support Groups page for specific times, locations and facilitator contact information.
We also hold annual memorial events, including our yearly Kindness Walk, remembrances at holiday times and in the month of October, which the MISS Foundation recognizes as Child Death Awareness Month.
We have periodic family workshops, events and retreats and offer resources for education to the community. Our facilitators are highly trained in addition to having lived their own experiences through grief and loss. By request, they may be available for educational opportunities for caregivers and professionals. Many of our facilitators and volunteers are also MISS Foundation HOPE Mentors, committed to providing one on one support to others who have experienced similar losses.
It is our mission to support families through this darkest of times and to enlighten and educate the public, helping to remove the stigma of child death.
The MISS Foundation
The MISS Foundation is a 501 (c) 3, volunteer based organization committed to providing crisis and long term support to families after the death of a child at any age, at any time, at any cause, including perinatal loss and loss due to miscarriage. The MISS Foundation also participates in legislative and advocacy issues, community engagement and volunteerism, as well as culturally competent, multidisciplinary education opportunities.
The MISS Foundation pioneered legislative action toward the passage of bills across the United States to provide for the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth (CBRS) in 37 states. The Commonwealth of Virginia passed the bill into law effective July 1, 2003--Title 32.1; Chapter 7; Section 258.1
You can find the procedures for filling requests for a Certificte of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth in the Commonwealth of Virginia here.
This legislation, known in some states as the "MISSing Angels Bill," allows the parents of a stillborn child to request and receive a certificate of birth (resulting in stillbirth)--rather than only a death certificate--to commemorate and mark the laboring and bringing of such a precious and loved child into their family and into the world. Even in the midst of pain and grief, there is immeasurable love, and the existence of our children continue to matter, for the rest of our lives.
Our vision is that our programs will serve to support and extend civic love and compassion to individuals, families, and communities when a child has died. That through education and research, we may help to reduce the number of child deaths. No family should have to endure the pain of a child's death; and certainly never alone. The MISS Foundation is committed to building supportive and mindful communities in memory of the children who lived, who died, and who continue- even in death- to matter.