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Jamestown family giving back in honor of baby Gretchyn

Gretchyn Martin and Child Loss Memorial Tree in Jamestown, ND.
Gretchyn Martin and Child Loss Memorial Tree in Jamestown, ND.(Amber Martin and NewsDakota.com)
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 1:24 PM CST
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JAMESTOWN, N.D. (NewsDakota.com/Valley News Live) - Through loss and heartache, the Martin family of Jamestown has used their experience to help give back. “Gifts From Gretchyn” was formed in honor of Amber Martin’s daughter Gretchyn, who passed away in June 2020 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

“It was difficult, but in order to help with the healing process and still keep her memory alive, our family chose to do acts of kindness called Gifts from Gretchyn,” Martin said.

Since that time, Martin says she and her family have done Thanksgiving meals for the community, collected cleaning supplies and food for the Safe Shelter, and more recently hosted “Golfing for Gretchyn”, which raised money for families who lose a child to purchase a headstone.

Martin says now they’re introducing the Child Loss Memorial Tree at two locations in Jamestown.

“You can stop by the two locations where we have a tree set up, take out an ornament and decorate it however you want to, put whatever you want on it, and then just hang it so it spreads a little bit of joy during the season.”

Trees are set up at Inspired Health Care and Club 1883 through the holidays. Bulbs and decorating supplies are provided for families grieving the loss of a child to honor them and understand they are not alone.

Then starting January 2, those who have decorated the tree will be allowed to pick up their ornament. She added they’ll keep any remaining ornaments and decorate another tree next Christmas season.

Martin says she has had great support from the community and her husband Devin along with their seven kids.

“When I think of a service project for the month I always make sure to incorporate them with us and Devin 100% supports me in whatever I do and whatever I need to do to be able to heal with my journey. So, with the kids, all seven of them, we truck them with and they participate and do everything with us.”

She added that giving back has been vital in her grieving process and ensures her daughter’s memory lives on.

“I think the best part about it is that we don’t feel so alone. You meet people that are in this journey with you whether it’s been ten years for them or two weeks. It’s nice to know that you have that support and you have that available and those around you who know exactly what you’re going through so if you need somebody to talk to, you can find them and you can reach out to them.”

For future give back events through “Gifts for Gretchyn”, you can like their Facebook page.

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