Give blood, take a taco

Mustard Seed Acre hosts second annual memorial blood drive, Thursday, Jan. 23

@TheSunGazette

EXETER – This Thursday is the community’s opportunity to join A Legacy of Love and show their love to the Central California Blood Center.

Holding their second annual William Stimpel V Memorial Blood Drive, A Legacy of Love is inviting Exeter and surrounding communities to visit Mustard Seed Acre this Thursday, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The drive benefits the blood center, who are at currently at 11% of what they need. But the event is not just about giving, it’s also about taking.

With a suggested $5 donation, donors and visitors are welcome to a plate of tacos.

A Legacy of Love held its annual event last October at Mustard Seed, at 444 N. F St. as a means to help families honor their babies.

“Anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS or any other type of baby loss up to the first year of life is welcome to attend,” said Jennifer Stimpel, vice president of A Legacy of Love.

The group’s mission is to “support, comfort and encourage mothers and their family unit during times of pregnancy and infant loss within the first year of life.” The group provides an environment of non-judgmental and nonreligious views to anyone who desires a place to initiate healing. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. the second Friday of the month at Gateway Church, at 1100 S. Sowell St. in Visalia.

The group was a lifeline for Stimpel, who joined A Legacy of Love in 2012 after she and her husband Will lost their baby, William, at 21 weeks and 2 days gestation due to a rare pregnancy complication known as Placenta Percreta. This occurs when the placenta invades the uterine wall, endangering the life of both mother and child.

“It came to us as a shock, something that we never thought could or would happen to us,” she said. “After I lost him, although I had great support from family and friends, I knew that I needed more. I can’t imagine where I would be without this group.”

A Legacy of Love’s web site (www.alol.us) offers a variety of resources for parents, family members and friends, from burial resources to book and song references. Stimpel, like many other women on the nonprofit’s board of directors, has found hope and healing by helping to lead A Legacy of Love.

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