Thursday, June 30 , 2016, 11:45 am | Fair with Haze 66º

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Garden of Innocence, Providing Burials for Abandoned Children, to Begin Serving Santa Barbara County

We are a new nonprofit 501(c)3 coming to town. We are the only non profit that wishes it were out of business.

We are Garden of Innocence By the Sea, and our sole purpose is to provide dignified burials for abandoned and unidentified children. We have been in business for 15 years under Garden of Innocence National and Garden of Innocence/San Diego.

We will be opening our newest garden for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in early July. We have a relationship with the coroners and public administrators of both counties. Garden of Innocence By the Sea will be located at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, 5400 Valentine in Ventura. Ivy Lawn is donating and building our garden now and hopes to be finished by late June.

Santa Barbara County already has a baby waiting for our garden to open, so we are very excited about that. We have a new director, Lori Sanchez, who will be overseeing the garden and the volunteers, and she is going to be wonderful. We are so excited to have her.

Sanchez needs many volunteers to help run the garden and take on coordinating positions as well as just coming to the services to be there to care for a child who no one else cared about. All of our gardens are run by volunteers from throughout the counties.

We need woodworkers to make our small urns and 12-inch-by-12-inch blankets plus Beanie Babies so each baby has a toy of their own. Please spread the word. Donations can be dropped off at AAMCO, 333 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara. We provide a full memorial service for each child complete with color guard and the community coming together to care for one of its own.

We have many positions that need to be filled to lay to rest one baby, so log onto our website by clicking here and onto the “Our Gardens” tab on the left then hit GOI By the Sea. There should be a list of coordinators positions that need to be filled. If any of the people you speak to might be interested in making sure no child dies without someone who cared, please have them give Sanchez a call. She would love to hear from you.

We look forward to seeing you in the garden. For more information, contact Sanchez at 805.452.0390 or [email protected] or [email protected].

 — Elissa Davey is the founder of Garden of Innocence By The Sea.

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