She didn’t plan to, but Erin Mammen unlocked the power of social media to do an irreplaceable amount of good.
After posting a photo of the "Paige Bears" on social media, support flooded in. Family, friends and friends of friends wanted to join the cause. To date, the family has donated more than 300 bears and other gifts to 20 different Minnesota hospitals. The count will reach 500 by spring 2018.
"Every hospital has a room where they keep items for families who have experienced loss," Erin says. "When people make donations, we get boxes of the bears and I add a purple bow on with a message on it. When there is a loss at the hospital, the nurses give the bear to the family."
A profound impact
The difference the bears make for other moms—some of whom Erin has met through support groups—have brought a new dimension to the family’s efforts.
“We thought this was a way to honor our daughter's life, but we realized Paige's story didn't end that day," Erin says. "Through the bears, her story continues.”