Early infant loss breeds a kind of devastation that no parent should ever have to suffer. But it happens. And when it does, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) is there to provide the gift of remembrance photography. They are an organization that offers healing through the heartache and memories through the mourning.

If you’re not familiar with this devoted service, it consists of professional photographers who volunteer their time and give their hearts to capture the only moments that parents get to spend with their newborns. Images are edited in black and white or sepia tone and gifted to the family as a way to validate the existence and presence of their precious baby, if even for a brief time on this earth. It’s a beautiful way to honor a tiny life that will be forever cherished and fiercely loved by its family.

NILMDTS has more than 1,700 active photographers around the world. They reach every state in the U.S. and in multiple countries worldwide. More than $8 million in photography services are donated every year, to over 4,000 families worldwide. You might wonder how you could ever stand to go through something so fragile or be reminded of such pain. But for the parents who have suffered this immeasurable loss, they are beyond grateful for the priceless gift these portraits provide. It’s a tangible item that grants them a precious reminder of their son or daughter who was laid to rest all too soon. It doesn’t make the bereavement any easier to bear. But for many, it brings light to a legacy of love rather than a loss. Admittedly for some, it may take weeks, months or even years before they can embrace the images. But that’s okay. Because healing is a journey. And it looks different for everyone.

Perhaps you’ve had to experience this indescribable grief. {If so, we extend our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers}. Maybe you’re a gifted photographer who desires to offer your talent and your time. Or a professional digital retouch artist. A photographer’s assistant. A community volunteer. Or simply an individual with a heavy heart for this mission. Whatever drives your dedication, consider volunteering or donating to help bless a family whose story has been tragically edited with an unimaginable loss. Photographs have the ability to pause time, if even just for a moment. And NILMDTS is present to capture the ones that a parent can never have again.

It’s awfully hard to tell you about this special organization without a few tears falling from our face. Earth-shattering loss leaves us with horrendous heartache. But time grants us healing and peace eventually fills our presence again. It is then that we often find comfort in the memories and moments that were made. So this month we’d like to share a bright and bursting band to illustrate the light for every beloved baby up above. This is a happy halo; one that’s meant to hand out hope and carry comfort.

To learn more about our UrbanHero program, click here. Ready to jump right in and become an UrbanHero? Click here.