Who We Are
HEALing Embrace strives to bring hope and healing to the grieving hearts and to celebrate and honor the lives of babies gone too soon.
Healing embrace was founded by Jennifer Sommer and Shawna Hoffman, who met at a support group for bereaved parents. They quickly became friends and shared a passion to help families who experience pregnancy and infant loss. HEALing Embrace works to raise awareness and provide support to these families.
An estimated 1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss, and each day in the United States 71 mothers give birth to a baby that is not alive. In addition to the normal expenses of birth, bereaved families now face expenses for funeral services, grief counseling, and may require in-home post-partum assistance. HEALing Embrace focuses on the finances so families can focus on healing, not the stress of unexpected bills. Raising awareness about loss, as well as connecting families is another goal of HEALing Embrace. Ultimately, we strive to validate and support those who have had to say goodbye to the newest member of their family. Saying goodbye before hello is the most difficult journey anyone should have to walk and one should never have to do it without support.
While each grief journey is unique and healing comes in many forms, we believe these four areas can provide support where it is needed most. The families simply need to apply in the area for which they seek financial assistance. Upon approval, HEALing Embrace provides funds to the businesses providing services to families.
Through the tragedy of losing her second baby, Jennifer discovered her passion and her life’s mission: to help other families who have experienced or are experiencing pregnancy or infant loss. Jennifer became the first certified birth and bereavement doula in the state of Nebraska, and upon completion of her certification she co-founded HEALing Embrace, a local nonprofit. HEALing Embrace gained its name through its mission: Help Everyone After Loss. Jennifer and her husband, Andy, have 4 children; 1 on earth and 3 in heaven. Through the legacy her children have left behind, Jennifer finds her inspiration and determination to help hundreds of families each year. She and the HEALing Embrace team make it their goal to bring awareness to a once-taboo topic and to ensure each family that they are not alone and they too can find hope and healing after loss.
Shawna is the Co-Founder of HEALing Embrace and a certified birth and bereavement companion. She and her husband, Seth have 5 children, 4 in Heaven and a living daughter. After they suffered the loss of their first two pregnancies (Maddie and Avery) in first trimester, they went on to lose their third pregnancy, a son named Silas, during delivery at 42 weeks after an uncomplicated pregnancy and labor. It was the support and difference of care the couple received after the birth of Silas that sparked Shawna’s passion for change. After a very doubt-filled and fearful pregnancy, they safely welcomed their daughter, Sadie in 2015. They went on to suffer another first trimester pregnancy loss, a baby they named Sam. Shawna and her family transitioned to a new community in Northern Illinois, where they now reside. She is meeting a new group of warrior parents and spreading awareness about HEALing Embrace and pregnancy and infant loss in her new community.
“I carried you every second of your life, and I will love you every second of mine…”
There are many opportunities to help everyone after loss, please find out how by clicking below.