Who is Tiny Works of Heart?
Tiny Works of Heart is a 501c3 non-profit that was created to capture the moments for parents of NICU premature babies and those angel babies that only live for a short time or are born still.
For NICU: We work for parents with babies born prematurely providing hope, comfort, memories and a sense of “normalcy” to families in these tough times.
For Remembrance: We work to capture photographs of the most precious and tangible moments of the parents time with their baby. Our hope is to capture the love and bond that was given and shared in that precious time with their baby.
How did Tiny Works of Heart come to life?
Amber Augustin has been a photographer for over 14 years. Her life changed almost 11 years ago when her third child was born at 30 weeks. Her little boy, Lane, spent 4 weeks in the NICU where many times they were afraid they might lose him. During her time there, she took many pictures of his 4 week journey in the NICU and those are some of her most prized possessions. If they would have lost Lane, those pictures would be the only way that she could physically remember him.
One night when Amber was visiting her son in the NICU, the baby girl that was next to him was getting to be held for the first time after a week or two in the NICU. The family was trying to take pictures with a disposable camera that wasn’t working. Amber offered to take a few pictures for them. She was able to capture that moment to be shared with family and specifically the other siblings that weren’t allowed in the NICU during RSV season. After the family left, the sweet baby girl opened her eyes for the first time and Amber was honored to capture that moment for them. She printed the pictures out for them on her home printer and left it for them in the NICU. When she returned, she was greeted with such gratefulness from the family. That meaningful moment birthed Tiny Works of Heart. Amber thought, if those pictures moved this family so much, how much could it minister to other families.
Tiny Works of Heart first began in the NICU documenting the baby’s journey and growth. Then a family member of Amber’s had a friend that was going to lose one of her twins when they were born and asked if she would be willing to take photos. Amber reached out to a friend that had lost a full term baby girl a few years before to ask if she would have wanted a photographer to capture pictures of her baby girl Gracie. She said she would have LOVED them, because she only had 2 polaroid pictures that the nurses had taken for her and she had spent a large amount of money to get them edited so that she could share them with her older son. Amber decided that she would take the pictures in honor of Baby Gracie and her (the momma).
How do you handle the hard situations?
Amber is asked often how she is able to deal with all the emotions of the hard moments of someone losing a baby. Her response is simple, “I go in as a Mom and I think about all the moments that I would want to have to remember…now, 5 years, 10 years and forever. Those moments go by so quickly and I want the parents to be able to enjoy the time and know that I will take pictures of all the little “kissy” spots that you might not get to study in the limited time you have. I make sure to get the hands, feet, fingers, toes, tiny ears, neck, shoulders and so much more. I want to create a memory for them to remember their child for a lifetime.
Sometimes a Mom is sick after delivery and can’t even remember the little things that happen during that short period of time. I remember recently, a Mom was so sick that they had to give her something to help her during delivery and that made her very groggy and made it difficult to remember her short minutes with her baby. But, I was able to capture those moments and now she has a picture of her baby girl squeezing her hand before she went to heaven.
What does it mean to Amber?
Amber shared, “It means so much to me to be able to walk beside the family in their suffering. I know that I am not going to fix anything, but maybe give them peace of mind that they aren’t going to miss something because I can capture those moments for them to have forever.”
How much does it cost?
There is no charge for this service. Tiny Works of Heart is a 501c3 non profit organization that is run from donations from other families that have been ministered by TWOH and from God who always provides. If you choose to donate, you will receive a tax deductible receipt will be sent to you.
What is included?
Tiny Works of Heart comes to the hospital and provides an outfit, hat and blanket that can be used for the photographs. Photographs will be taken of the entire time and edited and given to the family on a wooden flash drive with all of your images. Additionally, a casting of the hands and feet are taken for the family to keep.
How do you contact?
How can I donate?
If you would like to donate to Tiny Works of Heart, you can visit www.tinyworksofheart.org/donate . After you donate, you will receive a tax deductible receipt.