Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Emily Landers creates care packages for mothers who miscarried
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- When Emily Landers had a miscarriage last December, she immediately went to work, turning her pain into something positive.
It inspired her to start "A Little Something, A Lot of Love." She's making handcrafted care packages to donate to other moms going through the same thing. She's also creating an important conversation for those who've lost a baby.
Landers walked up to her recent Due Date Diaper Drive holding a big handful of balloons, almost looking celebratory.
"I feel so good, I feel like I'm at such a good place," Landers said,
She's turning what could have been a very difficult day into something special.
"When it happened, I was like oh man, June 21, that's going to be a hard day," she remembered.
It's also something she could look forward to.
"Yes, this is a very special day. This was actually my due date," she explained. "We were pregnant with our third and in December, I lost the baby at 15 weeks."
To honor the baby she lost, she organized the diaper drive with the Milwaukee Diaper Mission and held it at Little Sprouts Play Café in Mequon.
"Emily is the brightest light. She has so much joy within her," said Meagan Johnson, founder of the Milwaukee Diaper Mission, which donates free diapers and period supplies in the city.
Johnson started her organization during the pandemic.
"I realized that Milwaukee didn't have this vital resource, and it probably should have existed long ago," Johnson said.
The two spent the morning of what would have been Landers' due date, stacking and counting the generous donations of diapers and baby wipes.
"We've got some threes -- here, you want to do a three," Landers called to Johnson.
If you're wondering about impact, the boxes of diapers really add up. Currently, the Milwaukee Diaper Mission is donating 25,000 diapers a month.
"Babies supporting babies is such a special thing," Johnson said with a smile.
The two women connected over social media.
"I feel like she's the kind of person that once you know her, you can never unknow her. She is such an amazing person," Johnson said of Landers.
"Thanks, Sammie! Thanks buddy! Hi Court! Thanks for coming," Landers exclaimed as friends arrived.
She greeted each and every donor with a huge smile and a hug.
"We've had so many little families come by with their little children, bringing packs of diapers to support us. It's really sweet," Johnson said.
That includes Landers' two sons, 5-year-old Jack and 2-and-a-half-year-old Rowan.
"Hi Buddy! How's it going? Look it! What do you think?" she said, picking Jack up. "I think it's great," Jack replied.
There were stickers and cookies and hula hoops for the kids to play with, making giving back fun.
"I want to teach my children that when you give, you get back, too," Landers said.
The diaper drive is just one example of what Landers is accomplishing. Through "A Little Something, A Lot of Love," she's creating what she calls joy bombs.
"I got home from the hospital, woke up the next morning and I just had this idea to do the joy bombs," she said of that morning last winter.
The joy bombs are special care packages for other moms who've also had a miscarriage. There are bracelets and candles Landers makes herself, as well as other goodies and a heartfelt note. Landers has delivered 80 joy bombs to area hospitals so far, with 25 more going out in the month of July to Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
"Every time I tell people what I'm doing, a lot of people who've experience the same thing will tell me their stories," she said.
Her efforts are making a growing impact.
"You know, when there's darkness, there is light," she said. "And there's beauty that you see, that you wouldn't have been able to see."
It's also starting a conversation around miscarriage, which can be a difficult topic for some to talk about.
"This was all Emily's idea," said Johnson. "She has such a powerful story and wanted to share that with the community, because it's something that a lot of families go through."
It's also creating room for healing.
"I feel like I'm just the messenger. That it's coming straight from the baby," Landers said. "That all of this is because of this soul and this energy that's out there."
For more information on "A Little Something, A Lot of Love," visit www.alittlesomethingalotoflove.com, or on Instagram at @alittlesomethingalotoflove.
If you'd like to nominate someone for Natalie's Everyday Heroes, send Natalie a message at NShepherd@cbs58.com