A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity
Tatum Willa Care and Outreach Ministry
A day in the life of Tatum
Tatum Willa Marshall lived on this earth with us for 7 months and 24 days. A long life no, but a meaningful life it was indeed. After fighting through the first month of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she came home to the loving embrace of her family. What we witnessed in her as she lived at home with us was peaceful contentment. A spirit of pure joy. A joy difficult to witness anywhere but the heart of an innocent young child. Her smile and gaze warmed the hearts of her family as the mere presence of her family seemed to warm her heart all the same. As if she knew her time here on earth was limited, she never wanted to be too far from Mom, or Dad, or sissy (sister). We fell in love with beautiful Tatum. We could not have felt more blessed with our family. But tragedy would soon strike and Tatum would be taken back Home to the warm embrace of her Heavenly Father.
Tatum’s passing has changed our lives forever. The devastation is unimaginable. Our worst nightmare came true. We felt lost. Helpless. Horrified. Heart broken. Confused. Angry. The months following her death were the most difficult times in our life. We struggled to find the will to even get out of bed. Every day, lost in a fog of unwavering sadness. But what helped us endure was our faith and trust in God. What helped us survive was the love and prayers of those around us. The support we received allowed us to persevere. But even still, the weight we now carry will never go away. The limp with which we walk will always be present. Our struggle continues daily as we wrestle with a broken, yet faithful heart. So we continue to pray for strength and we continue to trust in God.
The reality of it all is this however. No matter what we say, or how we describe our situation, or even how we tell our story, the tragedy is still unimaginable. Most cannot relate. No one can truly understand unless they experience it themselves. Stories can guide us and teach us, but the experience, the trial, the tribulation, is what truly puts our faith to the test. This is where we learn. For us, this is where we learn about the nature of God. And for us, even amidst a circumstance we hate, a fate no one deserves, a tragedy no one should ever have to endure, we know we are not immune and we know we are not owed anything in this life. So. We remain faithful and trust in our Lord and Savior as He holds our daughter tightly in Heaven.
All this to say – we understand the mountain of difficulties a family faces when trying to navigate through such a tragedy. No family should have to experience any of it alone, so our mission is to seek out families in the midst of it all – to be there for them, to be there with them, to share with them, to support them, and love them. So what does this kind of support look like? Funding for this kind of support will be used in multiple ways, not all of which can we even foresee at this time. But to start, here is how we plan to use funds provided by you in support of families in need:
- Provide books to families that we have found helpful in navigating suffering and grief
- Provide supplemental income for wages lost during family leave
- Provide funding for medical and counseling expenses not covered by insurance
- Provide meals, house cleaning, miscellaneous items of need, etc.
- Provide opportunities for families to “get away” to grieve
This idea for care and outreach to families experiencing tragedy is a work in progress and we plan to develop a non-profit organization with such a mission in the near future. We plan on taking distributions even further than the examples listed above, but have to start somewhere. So many people have wanted to help us in any way that they could since Tatum passed away. But we know that there are so many families in more need than us, so we wanted to take this opportunity to help them. No funds from here or our future non-profit organization will be used for our family. We thank you for your prayers and support thus far, and ask you to join us in supporting other families through grief and suffering.
CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:
Tatum Willa Care and Outreach Ministry
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161
Use credit card by clicking the link below.
The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.
For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.