After more than six years of planning, designs for the Tiny Hands of Hope Children’s Memorial Garden have been completed, and the project is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Tiny Hands of Hope Co-Founder Karen Gilkyson says despite having faced COVID-19 related delays in fundraising, planning for the site continued. She says she is delighted to be able to see the ideas of the organization come to life on paper.
“The pandemic definitely set us back two years, but we are excited that people have really just wanted to see it… that’s what we needed, just people to get behind it, and embrace it as their own,” she says.
“It went through several different stages, even within the city, to get approved. So, to see it come to light as a design has been really beautiful, and it’s been really surreal to see.”
Former City Councillor and member of the Children’s Memorial Garden Committee Eunice Friesen says the reality is most people who have lost a child don’t have a place to go and remember. She says to be able to help get such a project off the ground is something she takes immense pride in and believes others will feel the same when it’s completed.
“Many of us will go to the graveside on mothers day, or birthdays or special occasions… so to have a place in the community where we can come together and remember,” she says.
“Life goes on, and to have a park where we can bring our children who would have had a sibling to remember, we can bring them to play, laugh and run and be happy, even while we are remembering the child who isn’t there.”
The non-profit raised over $40,000 as part of the annual Illuminate the Night Fundraiser over the weekend, with all costs going towards the final $300,000 plus cost of the garden.