SIDS and stillbirth may claim tiny lives, but it is no small matter. The Tree of Hope is a tribute to the thousands of babies who have died, representing our loss and our love in a way that nothing else can. As envisioned by the original artist and sculptor Sandy Werfel, the Tree of Hope features leaves in burnished copper for girls and brass for boys as well as a carved walnut trunk. Large foundation stones support the Tree of Hope at the base, and blossoms of life and wings of peace are interspersed among the leaves.

Beginning August 2017, the Tree of Hope will be transformed into a rendition that will make it mobile!  The leaves, plaques, blossoms and wings will be sewn onto a cloth banner with the trunk, branches and foundation stones beautifully recreated on the banner.  Our hope is to have this artistic tribute to the lives of these babies travel to conferences, hospitals, shows and events around the country for all to see.

We invite you to join us in honoring the memories of our babies by helping to grow the Tree of Hope today! Individual leaves are offered in recognition of a $200 contribution and benefactor recognition is available at the following levels: Foundation “Stone” ($1,500), Blossom of Life ($5,000) and Wings of Peace ($10,000).

To place an order, please email

History of the Monument

At the national conference in Pittsburgh in November 1993, First Candle announced its plan to build a Tree of Hope as a lasting memorial to the young victims of SIDS. With the expansion of our mission in 2001, any baby lost suddenly and unexpectedly can be memorialized as well.

The first public viewing of the Tree of Hope took place on June 23, 1996, at the opening day of the Fourth SIDS International Conference held in our nation’s capital. In the presence of parent representatives from across the United States and more than thirty nations from around the world, First Candle dedicated over 300 leaves and 12 foundation stones as engraved reminders of the lives interrupted too soon.