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I hope you enjoy our August issue!  If you have a friend or know of an organization who may be interested in helping with our mission, please forward this newsletter to them.
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Local Youth Group Visits Garden
OLG prayer quilt  
On Friday, July 11th, seven teens from Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Fletcher Hills were introduced to Garden of Innocence (GOI).  The garden was part of a week-long outreach mission to discover avenues for the teens to perform Corporal Works of Mercy, the seven practices of charity toward our neighbors, based on Christ's words in Matthew 25:34.

  Peggy Stenbeck, the mission coordinator, shared some background, "The Church encourages all its members to be actively involved in service to our neighbors' bodies by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick, and burying the dead.  Often, some of these are not easy to do. That is especially true of burying the dead.  But, there is a great love shown in this act of charity for others.  When we heard about Garden of Innocence we knew it would be a perfect fit as part of our teen mission week.  The teens could learn from the modeling of adults like Elissa Davey, Founder, who have identified a problem in our community and acted to help others.  In this case, to help these "voiceless" children by sending them home with lots of love, a caring "family" and a final resting place.
   The young people, ranging in age from 13 to 18 lined two caskets for GOI.  They also engaged the help of the parish Prayer Quilt Ministry and helped make quilts for the caskets, finishing each off by tying "knots of prayer" throughout.
  When they met with GOI volunteers Georgene Kruzel, John Kruzel, Rebecca Melendez and Birgit Rutz, the teens were given a tour of the garden and information about how the garden started and how it serves the community and children.  Many of the teens expressed a deep interest in staying involved and wanting to attend a service.  (Continued top right).
Baby Guy's Service
08.09.08 Circle of love for Guy 
 Baby Guy was welcomed to the garden on August 9.  In addition to our suppliers and many attendees, who volunteer to help with the service, we were joined by students Elizabeth, Katie, Kimi, Brandon and adults from Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.  Their compassionate help included welcoming guests, sharing the poem, reading the names and releasing doves in Guy's honor.  Their involvement was the result of a visit to the garden in July.  They later shared how participating in the service and knowing this little baby made it both difficult and incredibly beautiful at the same time.  Garden of Innocence is thankful for their participation.

  Thank you for your support and caring for our mission to give abandoned children, who die in San Diego Country, a dignified burial.  

  Please visit our website

Georgene Kruzel,
Garden of Innocence
Youth Group (con't)
  During the visit Katie Hertzig and Joe Arciga presented the caskets and quilts for the children to Georgene. At that moment a butterfly appeared and fluttered around the group before disappearing into the trees.  Birgit, shed some heavenly light by explaining that in German, her native language, the word "butterfly" is used to describe babies who die before and shortly after birth.  It was a special moment for all. 
  After the visit, the youth expressed an interest to stay involved in the mission of Garden of Innocence and have vowed to keep all of the children in their prayers.
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Did You Know?
GOI Speaker

   Did you know that you could schedule a Garden of Innocence speaker to come to your next group meeting or to meet your group at the garden to share our mission and tell the stories of the children?  Please contact for more information.  Help us spread the word about Garden of Innocence.

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Signing guestbook
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