Savannah Smiles primary mission is to be a resource and comfort to parents who have experienced the death of their child.
It seems unnatural when a child dies and most parents are financially unprepared for their child’s burial expenses. Savannah Smiles helps these families with a portion of the expenses so they can honor their child one last time at burial.
In addition to financial support for these families, Savannah Smiles offers emotional support through various resources on grief. We serve Southeast Louisiana, with offices in St. Tammany and Baton Rouge. We also support similar ministries in Lafayette when there is a need.
Coming along side other grieving families after the loss of their child, has been and continues to be Savannah Smiles' primary ministry. Helping them prepare for a funeral, both emotionally and financially, is what we do.
We offer grants in set amounts depending on the age of the child, to help a family cover some of the funeral costs. We make payments directly to funeral homes and work with some amazing funeral directors in our area!
No one wants to need our help but they are so grateful that a foundation like Savannah Smiles exists.
Why is this our primary mission?
When Savannah left for Heaven, we were left with shattered hearts and thousands of dollars in funeral expenses we were not prepared for. A family member started a memorial fund at a local bank for people to give to help us with this burden. (This was before ‘go fund me’ or Facebook)
Friends and family gave so much more than we needed so we began to pray “God, what do YOU want to do with the rest of this money?” The financial burden was lifted because of the generosity of so many. Grief was burden enough, so we thought, we’ll help families until this money runs out. Here we are, 15 years later, and the money has yet to run out!!
Toys for Hospitals
Here’s the story of how this little mission got started as told by Savannah’s mom:
On Christmas Eve 2005, Savannah asked if she could take what we would have spent on her for Christmas, and buy presents for kids who would spend Christmas in the hospital. We told her it was a little late to do that but we would do it next Christmas. She was in Heaven by that next Christmas.
Since 2007 we have fulfilled that unselfish request of Savannah’s by bringing several boxes of toys to local hospitals. At first, we shopped for toys. What has happened since is that businesses have asked if they can be part of the toy collecting.
STARC has been collecting for several years and recently the staff of Florida Marine Transporters asked if they could help as well.
Covid caused us to have to discontinue this for a few years but we’re hopeful that we can get it back up and running soon.