Studies show one in four women experiences pregnancy loss, and many end up feeling isolated and struggling to talk about it. The unfortunate stigma around miscarriage compels many women to carry burdens of shame, guilt, loneliness, and anger. Peyton Lauderdale and Carol Vantine are two of those powerful women who emerged from grief to glory, providing thousands of grieving women a platform where they can find encouragement, hope, and healing.
“What started as an idea scribbled out in a Bible study workbook has transformed into a national organization. Ours is a group of people who have been touched by pregnancy and/or infant loss and are committed to connecting families to the available resources, communities, and support structures to help each other,” said Peyton Lauderdale, Executive Director of Gathering Hope. The North Texas-based nonprofit has served women in and outside the state since 2015.
“Without Gathering Hope, I have no idea where I would be,” said Faith Graves, a young mother who shared her story on social media. “I don’t know that I would even be here. You all planted a seed in my heart that night in October of 2019 that has changed my life. I have found purpose, hope, love, and acceptance in Jesus. He has brought restoration to relationships with my family. He has brought purpose into my life and a purpose for my pain. He has brought love and acceptance to my babies and me.” Countless women like Faith have found their hope with Gathering Hope. The organization is evolving year by year, bigger and stronger. “2024 is gearing up to be a transformative year for us, with exciting projects in the pipeline. Set for a spring reveal, we’re working on creating additional opportunities for connection and support for loss moms throughout the year,” said Carol Vantine, Executive Director of Operations.
“In addition to the new programming, we are excited to continue our annual golf tournament, Fairways for Families, in June and the Wave of Light event in October.” Standing as an ally for women navigating the complexities of miscarriage and infant loss gives Peyton and Carol a strong sense of pride. Through the organization, they have built a range of support, including Gatherings, podcasts, counseling referrals, and educational materials to guide women through the many facets of grief. The online community connects women who share similar experiences, making sure no one feels alone in this journey.
“Our events and Gatherings are about creating safe spaces filled with understanding and encouragement. We’re committed for the long haul. We’ve witnessed women joining us amid raw grief and transforming into powerful advocates for other loss moms who follow in their footsteps. Our goal is to be a companion throughout the entire healing journey,” Carol shared. “Slaying the Stigma” is one of the initiatives by Gathering Hope, which has become a powerful tool for women in the targeted communities. It’s a podcast series focused on changing the narrative of pregnancy and infant loss, one mother at a time. The podcast episodes highlight women who vulnerably share their perspectives, hearts, and stories. The show aims to normalize the conversation of pregnancy loss, collectively encouraging women in their healing journey and educating others who are unfamiliar with the issues surrounding miscarriage & infant loss.
“What’s remarkable is that in nearly every episode, there’s something a loss mom can relate to. Though the details of our stories vary, the shared emotions create a real sense of community within our ‘Sucky Sisterhood,’” Carol said. With the support of hundreds of volunteers over the years, trusted relationships with some of the key leaders in the community, and supportive board members, Gathering Hope has been building a legacy that a community can vouch for. Peyton and Carol are grateful for the support they’ve received so far and hope for the same in the future. Keeping the nonprofit running means dealing with the ongoing challenge of securing funding. Still, the founders are committed to the bigger vision of making the world a better place for women.
“My vision is for every baby loss survivor to easily access a supportive community that acknowledges her mental, emotional, and spiritual needs while holding her story sacred. My dream is for Gathering Hope to grow sustainably and to develop relationships with more community leaders who value the millions of women who experience loss,” Peyton said.