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How one woman and a stuffed elephant changed thousands of lives: Forget-Me-Not Baskets

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. The Forget-Me-Not Baskets initiative began as a random act of kindness to help families cope.

WOOSTER, Ohio — "I have learned that it doesn’t take tragedy to start a cause, it just takes compassion," said Sara Ringle, founder of Forget-Me-Not Baskets.

Dealing with death in a family is never easy, and the loss of a baby, either through miscarriage or during infancy, is no exception.

"You’re just very numb, just like every birth is different every loss is different."

According to the Cleveland Clinic, one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. A statistic that Ringle wanted to bring awareness to.

"I personally have not ever had a loss. It came to be from a random act of kindness. I was in a moms group and ended up donating a basket to a local hospital."

A random act of kindness that’s helped more than 4,000 families including the McAllisters.

"When you are in the hospital with the baby, you expect to hold the baby and play with the baby," Kylie McAllister said. "Instead, we were in the hospital planning a funeral. It was just very surreal."

McAllister grieved through a stillborn pregnancy in 2013 and a miscarriage in 2014, but it was the love and support from her family and Forget-Me-Not that got her through her darkest time.

"I just think staying involved with Forget-Me--Not and helping other families, it was a way to channel that loss."

In January of 2015 McAllister gave birth to a set of healthy twin boys, and three years later another boy.

Credit: McAllister family

"We have always talked about Rory. The boys know they have a brother in heaven."

But she still keeps a symbol of Rory close -- a stuffed elephant, a symbol that represents to never forget.

"We still have his basket. I have an elephant handkerchief in my drawer. I think that’s special that he’s a part of our family even though he’s not here with us."

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