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Who We Are and What We Do

First Candle is dedicated to reducing the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and preventable Stillbirths by educating caregivers and families, and supporting research. We are also committed to offering bereavement support for grieving families.

This has been our role for more than 35 years. In 1994 we partnered with the National Institutes of Health on the Back to Sleep campaign, which led to a reduction in the rate of SIDS by more than 50%.

Despite, this SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age. Due to SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation, more than 300 babies every month may not live to see their first birthday. Infant mortality rates in the U.S are also higher than in the 20 wealthiest nations.

Our objective is clear: saving babies and supporting families.  Working with local organizations throughout the country we are educating new and expectant parents on the importance of providing a safe sleep environment for their baby. And for those families who have tragically lost a baby we are here to offer bereavement support and counsel.

We are a national member in good standing of Community Health Charities, have a Gold ranking on Guide Star, and a 3-star ranking on Charity Navigator. We are proud to maintain administrative costs well below the nonprofit industry standard of 25 percent.

Our Mission

First Candle is committed to the elimination of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths through education, while providing support for grieving families who have suffered a loss.

Our Statement of Values

  • Accountability to the public;
  • Commitment beyond the law;
  • Respect for the worth and dignity of individuals;
  • Inclusiveness and social justice;
  • Respect for pluralism and diversity
  • Transparency, integrity and honesty;
  • Responsible stewardship of resources; and,
  • Commitment to excellence and to maintaining the public trust.

Our Code of Ethics

All staff, board members and volunteers of the organization act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the organization. The organization promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and integrity.

To that end we will:

  • Provide professional services to everyone in need regardless of race, color, creed, age, sex, religion, nationality, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation or any other protected status.
  • Evidence a genuine interest in all persons served and do hereby dedicate ourselves to their best interests and helping them in the most appropriate manner.
  • Respect the privacy of persons served and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service.
  • Abide by nonprofit policies related to public statements.
  • Provide the highest quality of service to those who seek my professional assistance.
  • Act in accordance with standards of professional integrity.