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Shine Their Light 2021 Fundraiser Results + Award Winners

Bridget’s Cradles’ recently concluded our Shine Their Light fundraiser held during October Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month.

We had set a goal to raise $20,000 and we are pleased to announce that we not only met our goal but exceeded it!

Together, we raised $25,416 to comfort grieving families!

We couldn’t have done this without each person who so generously donated this past month. Each gift will impact the lives of bereaved families by shining a light in the darkness of their grief.

Being that we are a nonprofit that is 100% run on donations and volunteers in order to fulfill our mission of comforting families with a cradle, resources, and support, we wanted to give families the opportunity to fundraise in memory of their babies in Heaven to bless and comfort other families who knew the same pain and heartache as them. So we named this fundraiser: Shine Their Light.

When we launched the fundraiser on September 15th, we shared that we wanted to award the top fundraising team a special Wave of Light Award at the Wave of Light event and that teams would have a month leading up to October 15th to raise the funds in order to participate.

Little did we know that the winning team that would win on October 15th would have lost their precious daughter on September 14th, just one day before we shared about the fundraiser.

We are honored to announce the winners of the Wave of Light award:

David & Mattie Steinhilpert

In memory of their daughter, Sloane Eloise, David and Mattie raised $5,308.

When Ashley first spoke with this couple, just days after their loss, they told her about the tragedy and heartbreak they had faced. But the primary focus of the conversation for them was that they wanted to talk about how they could honor their daughter's life and serve others in her memory for Jesus Christ.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”

David and Mattie are a beautiful example of Jesus's words in Matthew and what it looks like to use their grief for good and light their lamp and sit it on a stand in memory of their baby.

We are honored to present the Wave of Light Award to David and Mattie Steinhilpert, who raised over $5,308 in memory of their precious daughter, Sloane Eloise.

Sloane went to be with Jesus on September 14th of this year at 31 weeks; she weighed three pounds, 10 ounces, and measured 16.5 inches. Sweet Sloane is truly blessed to have David and Mattie as parents. They illuminate the light of Jesus.

Will you join us in honoring David and Mattie for blessing thousands of families through their generosity (by leaving a comment below)?

We would like to now share David's acceptance speech. You can also watch it below:

David Steinhilpert: First off, I would like to thank Bridget’s Cradles for this opportunity to celebrate our babies in Heaven through the Wave of Light. Secondly, I would like to thank Bridget’s Cradles for this award. However, an award for the highest fundraising is not why we stand before you. Just one short month ago, my wife, Mattie, and I held our baby girl, admiring her precious face when she took her final breath.

Her passing did not come as a surprise in that moment. God prepared us that He was calling our daughter to her eternal home in Heaven, Mattie and I were rocked to our core, lost all physical and emotional control. A moment in time I will never forget. It was the hardest moment of our lives, but God couldn't have made His message clearer.

I stand before you today not to give a typical award speech as some of you might've expected. I stand before you today because God has breathed a message into our hearts through the death of our precious baby girl, Sloane Eloise. You see, I am standing here physically shaking, not out of fear, but because I can literally feel the presence of God in this place. The Holy Spirit goes before us tonight, as we share a common emptiness in our hearts.

Everyone here knows what I'm talking about. Either you have personally lost a child or have in some way or another been affected by the loss of a child. My prayer is that feeling of loss, sadness, grief, heartache, and unimaginable pain is something that will transform you. Child of God. My prayer tonight is this experience sets a fire within you and within your heart unlike any other earthly experience.

Our children may not be in our arms tonight, but rest assured, they're in the arms of the King of Kings Jesus Christ. My time to speak tonight is running out, so I wanted to leave you all with one final message.

As disciples of Christ, we are called in one capacity or another to spread the Gospel. I want you to think about the next words tonight, tomorrow, and for the rest of your lives here on earth. First John chapter one, verse five states. “God is light. In Him there is no darkness. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”

Each one of these light clusters represents our babies in Heaven. And if God is light, there is no darkness at all, I challenge each and every one of you to not only walk, but also spread the light of Jesus Christ on this world.

First Corinthians chapter 15, verse 52 states, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed.” Thank you.

[David's speech is also recorded on our Cradled in Hope podcast in a special episode devoted to our Wave of Light 2021 event. You can listen to it here.]

Thank you so much, David, for sharing such truth and shining a light in memory of your daughter, Sloane.


We also want to thank the following Shine Their Light teams for fundraising:

  • Jack’s Pack (Jake & Casey Siegrist); raised $3,485 in memory of their son, Jack Monroe

  • Blessings from Bridget (Matt & Ashley Opliger); raised $2,352 in memory of their daughter, Bridget Faith

  • Price-Coulter Team (Steven & Hilary Price-Coulter); raised $2,101 in memory of their daughter, Eva Grace and Her Siblings in Heaven

  • Gabriel & Louisa Markley; raised $1,500 in memory of their babies, Markley Babies

  • Ellowyn & Zoey’s Team (Joshua & Stephanie Singer); raised $1,149 in memory of their daughters, Ellowyn Grace Marie and Zoey Mae

  • Giving in Memory of Gabriel (Matthew & Dena Broderick); raised $1,026 in memory of their son, Gabriel Mason

  • David’s Lasting Light (Jon & Kelcey Crone); raised $846 in memory of their son, David Bruce

  • Schmidt That’s Good (Ryan & Rebecca Schmidt); raised $571 in memory of their children, Ava Lea and Ian Carter

  • Justin & Aubrey Pavlacka; raised $525 in memory of their daughter, Timber Kai

  • Irona Mikelle Cliver; raised $500 in memory of her daughter, Baby Mickey

  • Jonah & Grace Gibson; raised $336 in memory of their daughter, Miriam Lois and Her Siblings in Heaven

  • Jay & Tabitha Willis; raised $250 in memory of their daughter, Sarah Evelyn

Each of these team's donations played a vital role in meeting the goal of our fundraiser! We are now equipped to serve bereaved families in the weeks and months ahead with cradles, support, and resources.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch the Wave of Light highlight film, listen to the special Wave of Light bonus episode with the Reading of the Names, or view pictures from the event, click on the links to do so now!

For everyone who participated in the Shine Their Light fundraiser this year, thank you for shining your baby in Heaven's lights! We look forward to hosting this special opportunity again next year for Wave of Light 2022. Mark your calendars for 10/15/2022!

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