Parents Who Lost Their Baby Boy Honor Him With Totally Unique Facebook Tribute

Inspiring 9

Dress for Jake's DatesLast May, Sherrill and Joe Garrett of Checotah, Okla experienced one of the worst tragedies a parent can go through: they lost their 7-month-old son Jacob to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome. Feeling as though "our whole world just collapsed and we didn't really know what to do," Sherrill reached out for ways to deal with her overwhelming grief. Suggestions from loved ones led her to the idea of volunteer work -- but it was one particular conversation with a friend that resulted in a truly unique charity made in Jake's memory.

This is how Dresses for Jake’s Dates came to be. It's a Facebook page that helps loan fancy prom dresses to young women who can't afford them, and so far, supporters have sent them more than 200 dresses. As of this writing, the page has been liked over 17,000 times.

Sherill says the idea for Dresses for Jake’s Dates came to her after talking about prom plans for her friend's daughter:

[A friend] said, ‘You know, I want to tell you that as I sit here and listen to my daughter talk about who she’s going to date and who she’s going to go to the prom with, and I couldn’t help but think that 15 years from now you’re going to wonder who Jake would have taken to the prom,’ and I thought, ’15 years from now? I just need to get through the day.'

Sherill and her friend had previously talked about how expensive it can be for girls to go to the prom, and that's what gave Sherill the idea of creating the charity and naming it in honor of her son.

Dresses for Jake's Dates helps local girls who don't have the financial means to afford prom outfits to borrow fancy dresses, shoes, and jewelry for their big night. The response on the Facebook page has been overwhelmingly positive, with community members even volunteering to do girls' hair and buy them flowers.

Sherill has ideas for how to expand this charity into showers for pregnant mothers, and plans to organize a 5K to raise cash for local prom activities. She says she and her husband feel good that their son's memory is being carried on in a positive way:

If we can provide financial relief for one family and make one little girl feel like a princess for a night, then we’ve accomplished what we set out to do … I just – we could crawl into a hole and feel sorry for ourselves because we lost our son, we really could. But we don’t feel like that’s what God would have us do.

This is another amazing use of Facebook, and I'm glad to see this story get more attention -- the page was at less than 1,000 likes on Tuesday night, and it's already up over 17,000. I'm so sorry for the Garrett's loss of little Jacob, but glad they've found something that helps them heal, and helps others in the process.

Have you heard of Dresses for Jake’s Dates before?

Image via Facebook



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Roz

Sad and sweet! That is a strong mommy!

nonmember avatar Sandra Pent

This is the stupidest thing I've heard in a while...your son dies so you go to get cheap prom dresses for girls? Do something more useful with your time than worrying about freaking *prom* Disgusting sometimes what society feels is charity.

nonmember avatar Kara

This made me tear up. It's sweet. Not every charity has to be about curing cancer. There are other ways to make a positive difference in someone's life.

littl... littleleesa

Cranky much???? Ever lost a child???? No then shut up and let this mom grieve and get through this ANY FREAKING WAY SHE CAN!!!!!!!!!

TheTr... TheTruthTeller

Your compassion knows no bounds, Sandra. It's up to this couple to decide for themselves what is a useful way to spend their time.

TheTr... TheTruthTeller

Have you ever heard of the concept that little things that you do matter as much as the big things? 

jalaz77 jalaz77

Sandra-grow up. And it is charity. Love to see if you had the guts to say this to the parents faced.

This is really cute and unoriginal. Not that originality matters but anyone a person can cope is super sweet.

marney.p marney.p

This is  a beautiful story. Every teenager should have the chance to feel speciial. The teenage years can be so hard. Especially when money is tight and you are surrounded by other teenagers who seem to get everything. 

nonmember avatar Rachel Siers

Sherill is a great person! I had the chance to meet her yesterday, to get a dress. She welcomed us in to her house and made us feel at home! She cares so much about the girls she helps, she even offered to be my second momma! She is a great example of kindness and love! Truly blesses to have met her and to get to know her. Already love them like a family!

1-9 of 9 comments