Meet our newest Bridget's Cradles team member, Amanda Farris! Amanda is coming on as a full-time volunteer. She will be filling a needed role in our organization as our Director of Operations. Amanda will help with fundraising and coordination of our volunteers, hospitals, and day-to-day operations. She lives in California and has now set up a Bridget's Cradles "West Coast Division" in her home!
I'd love for you all to meet her and hear her passion for serving bereaved families:
Ashley: Amanda, how did you first become interested in Bridget's Cradles organization?
Amanda: I grew up in Wichita before moving to Georgia my senior year of high school with my family. Wichita has and always will be home to me. I've been lucky enough to visit about once a year and stay well-connected with my childhood friends there. I saw the Bridget’s Cradles Facebook page about a year ago. I realized that your (Ashley's) mother-in-law was my middle school small group leader at church. She had mentioned to me a few months before that her daughter-in-law was experiencing some complications with her pregnancy, and I made the connection and wanted to learn more about the organization.
I am not yet a momma (though I very much hope to be one someday!) and I cannot comprehend the pain of losing a child and the grieving journey that follows. However, I was incredibly moved by Bridget’s life story and legacy, Ashley and Matt’s testimony and faith, and the generous hearts of the Bridget’s Cradles knitting and sewing volunteers. In that moment, I felt very strongly about helping the organization in some capacity.
After thinking and praying about it, I reached out to Ashley and asked how I could support their growing ministry. At the time, I worked as a development manager at an international nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area and mentioned that I could help remotely with small administrative and fundraising tasks in my free time. Though I loved my job at the time and the mission of the organization, God was beginning to reach into the depths of my heart. I found myself frequently asking Him what He wanted for my life and how I could use my current knowledge and skills to serve Him fully.
Ashley: When did you know God was asking you to volunteer for Bridget's Cradles full time?
Amanda: After a trip to Austin, Texas with Ashley this past February to share Bridget’s Cradles with several hospitals there, I felt sure of the calling God desired for my life. During our meetings with nurse managers and directors in Austin, I was completely humbled by their kind words, gratitude, and affirmation that Bridget’s Cradles fulfill a very specific and unique need for tiny, fragile babies and their families.
When I returned home to California, I continued to pray for Bridget’s Cradles and my future involvement with the organization. Many prayers and the support of my husband, Paul, led me to the decision of resigning from my position as development manager to support Bridget’s Cradles as full-time administrative volunteer.
Ashley: What skill set and experiences will you be bringing with you? Tell us about your new role as our Director of Operations.
Amanda: In my role with Bridget’s Cradles, I will be using the skills and knowledge I have of nonprofit management to help streamline general operations and build out fundraising and communications plans to maximize our reach so we can help more families and hospitals across the country. I will also serve as a point of contact for the caring and generous knitting, crocheting, and sewing volunteers who allow Bridget’s Cradles to bless families all over the country (I can’t wait to meet you!).
Ashley: Why are you so passionate about our mission?
Amanda: During my transition from my job to work full-time for Bridget’s Cradles, several friends and family members have asked what it is about Bridget’s Cradles that makes me so passionate about the mission. There are several reasons.
First, though I am not yet a parent and don’t know the pain of losing a child, I do know the intense joy of celebrating life and the hope of Heaven. Through my work with Bridget's Cradles, I want to share that hope with grieving families. My prayer is one day, all bereaved families feel supported, loved, and confident in honoring their baby’s precious life on earth and rejoicing in being reunited one day in Heaven.
Second, I have been so impressed by the kind and caring medical staff at our affiliated hospitals who continually care for bereaved families. They want nothing more than to love and support their patients and babies with dignity and respect. I will forever admire the work that they do and find it such an honor to support them.
Lastly, I have been so touched by the kind, creative, and generous hearts of the Bridget's Cradles knitting, crocheting, and sewing volunteers and look forward to supporting them as well in the weeks and months to come.
Ashley: Amanda, thank you so much; we are so blessed to have you on our team. We are so grateful for you sharing your experience, skills, and time with us! And, most importantly, we are incredibly humbled by your kind heart and passion for serving bereaved families.
Everyone please join me in welcoming Amanda to the Bridget's Cradles team!