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Brian Scruton Joins First Candle Board of Directors

Brian Scruton has been appointed to the Board of Directors of New Canaan-based First Candle, it was announced by CEO Alison Jacobson and Board Chair David Cunningham. Mr. Scruton is a director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Leasing Services Group, in the firm’s Stamford, CT office, where he specializes in tenant and landlord representation services in […]

Pacifiers Promote Safe Sleep

By Jennifer Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer MAM North America, Maker of Pacifiers and Other Baby Products Pacifiers have long been used to soothe babies, and studies have shown that their use when putting a baby down to sleep can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Offering a baby a pacifier at […]

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Breaking Down Barriers for Moms and Babies

By Holly Schepisi Vice President of Vice Development, Holy Name Medical Center President, Holy Name Medical Center Foundation New Jersey has long been a leader in healthcare delivery, except for maternal and infant health, particularly among African Americans. The racial disparity in maternal and infant health is the widest in the nation as African American […]

Mathew’s Story

It has been 10 years since William Thomas Ellerbrock, age nine-and-a-half weeks, was dropped off for his second day of daycare and put down for a nap. It has been 10 years since baby William never woke up. It has been 10 years, but not a day goes by that his parents – Matthew and […]

The best way to move beyond grief? Do something.

As the CEO of First Candle I speak with hundreds of families who have lost a baby due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and stillbirth.  Their grief is beyond description.  It is all-encompassing and they can’t imagine surviving.  I know – I was one of those parents 22 years ago when my […]

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Matthew Ellerbrock, a SIDS dad and our NYC Marathon runner

On Sunday, November 3rd, our team of runners will test their endurance running in the New York City Marathon. Each one of them has their own reason for running and we’d like to introduce you to them because they are truly inspirational. It has been 10 years since William Thomas Ellerbrock, age nine-and-a-half weeks, was […]

2019 TCS New York City Marathon Runner with a SIDS Campaign

It has been 10 years since William Thomas Ellerbrock, age nine-and-a-half weeks, was dropped off for his second day of daycare and put down for a nap. It has been 10 years since baby William never woke up. It has been 10 years, but not a day goes by that his parents – Matthew and […]

Stamford Health Supports Team First Candle

2019 TCS New York City Marathon Sponsor Stamford Health has awarded a $2,500 sponsorship in support of First Candle, which is an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, according to First Candle CEO Alison Jacobson. “We’re honored to have Stamford Health’s support for Team First Candle in this year’s marathon,” Jacobson […]

Bereavement support for a SIDS loss is critical

The death of a baby is the most devastating events a parent will ever experience.  The death touches more than just the parents however.  Grandparents, other family members, friends and even community members are impacted.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age […]

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When a baby dies, dads are often forgotten

At First Candle we offer bereavement support services to families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), other sleep-related infant deaths, still birth and miscarriage.  We have a 24-hour grief line, bereavement materials, volunteer peer-support providers and, most importantly our online support groups.  While our online groups are large and active, […]

Please welcome Natasha Ray to the First Candle Board of Directors

Natasha Ray, M.S., has been appointed to the Board of Directors of New Canaan-based First Candle, it was announced by CEO Alison Jacobson and Board Chair David Cunningham. Ray is the Core Services Manager for the New Haven Healthy Start Program at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. She has been with New Haven […]

How long is it safe for a baby to sleep in a car seat?

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study about the danger of babies sleeping in car seats.  The study looked at sleep-related infant deaths when babies were in a “sitting device” such as a stroller, bouncer, swing, inclined sleeper or car seat. A 10-year study of 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths showed that 348 […]

What Every Parent Whose Baby Has Died Wants You to Know

At First Candle one of the cornerstones of our work is providing bereavement support to families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths as well as stillbirth.  We have a 24-hour grief-line, peer support counselors, online support groups and bereavement books and articles.  We often have […]

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Protecting infants from sleep-related deaths

Why has no substantial progress been made in preventing sleep-related infant deaths? Approximately 3700 infants (aged 1 year) have died each year in the past 15 years, most of whom died before age 6 months. No recent breakthrough has occurred for this public health issue, which kills a surprisingly large number of society’s most vulnerable—typically […]

Father’s Day – Avoiding the Gleeful Masses

Father’s Day is often a lonely day for me.  I feel isolated, like I don’t belong, but for me that’s been the case for the last 14 years.  Honestly, I do not know how to recognize the day, but I try my best. I make it a point to reach out to my dad on […]

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CCAT Child Care Checklist

Child Care Checklist – Infant Safe Sleep As you look for child care outside your home, there are many things to consider.  This guide will help you assess two important aspects of child care, infant safe sleep and breastfeeding, as you decide who will care for your baby.  Please keep in mind, this has a […]

Dad’s Grieve Too – Stephan’s Story

My wife and I had been planning to have a child for some time, before we decided when was the right moment to start building a family. The day Barbara called me at work to tell me she was pregnant, I already had a feeling what the call was about. I suddenly felt a surge […]

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Study Identifies Unique Long-Term Grief Experienced by SIDS Moms

Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is common, distressing and persistent in mothers whose infants have died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and have lasting implications for their health and well-being.  This comes from a study released today in Pediatrics that was conducted by Dr. Rick Goldstein, Program Director, Robert’s Program on Sudden Unexpected Death in […]

First Candle to Host Memorial Event in Honor of Mother’s Day

Flower planting ceremony to take place at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT   On Saturday May 12th First Candle will hold a flower planting ceremony at Calf Pasture in Norwalk, CT to honor mothers who have lost babies due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths, stillbirth and miscarriage.  First Candle is […]

Infant Deaths from Accidental Suffocation Can Be Prevented

Yesterday the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new report with the troubling finding that not only have declines in SIDS rates slowed but in some states they have actually increased.  What’s more, the report found that from 1999 through 2015, infant death rates from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed surged 184 percent. The […]

American Legion Awards Grant to Non-Profit First Candle

  Grant Supports Charity’s Mission of Saving Babies’ Lives  January 30, 2018 – New Canaan, CT – On Saturday Alison Jacobson, the Executive Director of First Candle, attended the Mid-Winter Conference of the American Legion’s Connecticut Chapter where she accepted the first half of a $16,000.00 Child Welfare Grant.  First Candle is the national non-profit […]

Program Spotlight: Straight Talk For Infant Safe Sleep

While the rate of infant mortality due to SIDS has been declining, the rates for non-Hispanic Black infants are still twice as high as that for non-Hispanic White infants.  Additionally, the rate for other sleep-related infant deaths is more than three times that of non-Hispanic white infants.   In response to these staggering statistics, First […]

How to create a Facebook Fundraiser

Facebook has expanded its set of online fundraising tools to include personal online fundraisers for its users. The new tool allows Facebook users to raise money for campaigns and causes, include memorials, birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. Nonprofits receive funds directly from Facebook every 15 days. Funds raised support our mission of eliminating SIDS, SUID, and […]

Why We Put #GivingFirst: “She’s not replaceable”

It was November 17, 2008, when I received the phone call at work that my baby was in the hospital and I needed to come to the emergency room. I asked the nurse on the phone if she was breathing and she would not answer. I already knew at that moment that she was gone. […]

First Candle Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement with #GivingFirst Camapign

First Candle has joined the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge and #GivingTuesday, a fundraising competition on the global day of giving. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. On #GivingTuesday, The Newman’s Own Foundation is awarding $85,000 to the top three organizations to […]

Here’s why we’re thankful for you this year

                Dear Supporters, Thanks to you, this year we: provided over 600 families with a safe place for their baby to sleep; educated over 5,000 daycare providers, social workers and parents on why placing babies alone in a crib with no blankets can reduce the risk of SIDS […]

When Life Changed Forever — Remembering Dylan Robert McEwen

My son, Dylan Robert, was born on November 2, 2010, at 38 weeks and was a happy and healthy baby boy. I had the pleasure of spending those first months of his life doing all the things new mothers do. I returned to work and put Dylan in daycare for a few days a week. […]

Shop These Sites in October and You’ll Be Supporting First Candle’s Mission

  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Sunday, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. First Candle is joining forces with individuals, local, state and national organizations, as well as corporate and retail partners to increase awareness about these tragic causes of infant death. Shop these sites in October and you […]

Join us for NYC’s Annual Baby Steps Walk

  Join Team First Candle in New York City for a memorial walk and ceremony over the Brooklyn Bridge. The Walk is designed as a day of honor and motivation towards healing for families affected by perinatal and infant loss. It attracts people who are empathetic to the cause from all over the tri-state area each […]

We Need to Start Talking About SIDS

Last week a study came out with the disturbing finding that less than half of parents surveyed consistently and exclusively put their baby on his or her back to sleep. This unfortunately supports the concern of First Candle that a large percentage of parents either believe that “SIDS has been solved” or that the risk of SIDS compared to […]

Get Involved this October for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Sunday, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. First Candle is joining forces with individuals, local, state and national organizations, as well as corporate and retail partners to increase awareness about these tragic causes of infant death. For those of us who have lost a […]

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Therapy Within Reach, Apply Now

Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss can be one of the most devastating and isolating experiences a parent can face. Thanks to a generous donor, we have started a lottery program to waive the lifetime membership fee to Open Path Collective. Your lifetime membership will allow you to receive psychotherapy sessions that range from $30 to $50 a […]

Missing a Special Day

By Missy Ortman, A Little Pink Lemonade For eight years we have had a yearly tradition of participating in a yearly walk/run in memory of babies lost too soon to SIDS.  Our “Pink Lemonade” team has been there since the run’s first year.  Our tradition each year was to take our family picture with Clara’s sign. […]

A Message From A Grieving Father…

There are so many friends of First Candle who give in various ways. Kelly Farley is a dad who lost not one but two babies. He has channeled his grief into helping other fathers who come to him through our grief line and other organizations. We are so grateful to have him as a resource. The following is his […]

8 Summer Fundraising Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to host a fundraiser and raise SIDS and stillbirth awareness. Download our First Candle How To Guide for Special Events and explore these fundraising activities for summer. Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas! Host a Block Party: Bring your community together to raise awareness! Learn how to organize one here. Film Showing: Show a family […]

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First Candle Supports Room Sharing to Reduce Risk of SIDS

  As the leading national non-profit organization committed to eliminating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths, we feel it’s important to respond to a new study on room sharing released today. The new study analyzed surveys from 230 first-time mothers who delivered at Penn State and found that babies slept for longer […]

Diplomas help turn tragedy into triumph at Cal State Dominguez Hills

On May 27, the family will hold a fundraising block party for the CJ First Candle, at “Legend’s Lemonade Stand.” For a $25 donation, lunch and lemonade will be provided from 2-7 p.m. at 315 W. 20th St. in Long Beach. To donate to Legend’s memorial fund, click here.  By Sandy Mazza, Daily Breeze POSTED: […]

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Baby Boxes – What Parents Must Know

Baby Boxes, free sturdy boxes with a firm mattress, a waterproof cover and a fitted sheet, are being provided to new parents in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates nationwide. These boxes are intended to serve as a safe sleep area when a traditional and recommended sleep area is not available to the parents.  As the […]

We Want Every Mom To Hear The Words “Happy Mother’s Day”

  For many women, May 14th, Mother’s Day, is an incredibly special time. Unfortunately, for some moms it’s a painful reminder of what might have been. Every year, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Stillbirth claim the lives of 27,000 babies. Together, we can change this. Show the mom, sister, friend in […]

Starting A With Us Forever Memorial

For parents, family members and friends, the death of a baby is heartbreaking. Often times parents are asked where donations can be sent. First Candle is proud of its ongoing record of keeping administrative costs below the nonprofit standard of 25%. We guarantee that more than 75% of every dollar donated will go to support […]

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Join Us For The First Annual Forsythia Classic in Simsbury, CT

Join CJ First Candle on May 6, 2017 for the First Annual Forsythia Classic – William’s Memorial Golf Tournament at Simsbury Farms Golf Course in Simsbury, CT. This memorial golf tournament is in honor of William Fountain. William passed away due to SIDS on May 7, 2013 — just five short days after his birth. All […]

It Is Medication Safety Week! Learn How to Give Medicine to a Baby

It is Medication Safety Week and we interviewed Dr. Agnes Scoville, an emergency medicine doctor in Los Angeles, California, to discuss medication safety with babies. According to Dr. Scoville, “Many medical studies show that babies frequently get the wrong dose of medicine, in part because they spit it out. Up to 50% of babies receive the wrong […]

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Our Director of Education, Barb Himes, Wins Award!

Congratulations to Barb Himes, CJ First Candle Director of Education and Training, on her Community Health Network Safety Award! Barb and her team from Community Hospital East in Indianapolis, IN, were awarded for their “Early Initiation of Pumping at Community East Maternity”. They developed a strategy to get mothers of all breastfed babies admitted to the […]