Early in February, we filmed a video to show Livy’s school, Paul B. Stephens, and talked about the annual Walk ‘n Roll-A-Thon, which raises funds for the Paul B. Stephens PTA. The event took place on February 24th. We are so grateful for the response from our family, friends, and others in the community who contributed. We are also thrilled that the Fran Haasch Law Group matched the first $500. Our initial goal was $1,000 but we are happy to say that, because of the generosity of so many, we doubled it and reached $2,000!
The school’s themed t-shirts this year have the word HERO on them which stands for the school motto of Helping Each other Reach Our dreams. Dreams mean different things to different people. Often, people dream of wealth, success, a house…a future. For most of these kids, the future is in question. What will they do after they leave school? Some will go on to work at certain types of jobs that don’t require a high level of responsibility. A handful may live on their own. But most students will either live at home or move into special housing where there is constant care. Many will need assistance 24x7. Their dreams are much different as are their family’s dreams.
The students at Paul B. face tremendous challenges and yet they persevere. On that day, everything in our lives felt small compared to what the students face. We are a part of their world because of Livy. It is a world that most of the community will never know. We feel honored and humbled to be a part of it. Sharing in their joy is a blessing because they are honest and pure. These students are gifts. They are reminders to live life with humility and to never give up despite how difficult our lives may be. They are heroes living among us.
March Giving Back Initiative
When Livy was born, she spent many months in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). We were filled with many emotions during that time...happiness and sadness, fear and hope, excitement and confusion. We were first time parents lost in a sea of foreign words and noises. We felt alone, scared, and trapped in a world we knew nothing about. We saw dozens of other families going through similar circumstances. Many of them had premature babies. Those babies were so tiny. Some of them would fit in the palm of your hand. It would have been extremely beneficial for families to have had support and encouragement while they were in the hospital. We are so happy to say that we are helping an organization that does that very thing.
High Risk Hope, founded in 2011 by Heather Barrow, the mom of a preemie, supports moms-to-be who are on long term bed rest in hospitals, families who have a preemie baby in the NICU, and families who have lost a baby as well as providing books that can be read to babies. The organization provides items to moms and families that are not provided by hospitals. This ensures their basic needs are met so they can focus on their health and the health of their babies.
We are supporting the organization in two different ways.
We are sponsoring a Book Drive for gently used or new books for children under the age of 6. They need at least 2,000 books annually!
We are ambassadors for the Jersey Mike's Subs Day Of Giving. Stores in West Central Florida will collect donations for High Risk Hope for the entire month of March and then on March 29th, 100% of revenues will be donated to the organization!
On March 29th, we will be at the Jersey Mike's location at 2560B McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater from 5 pm - 7 pm to greet families and will have a box for collecting books. It will be a great opportunity to bring your family, have dinner, and support this amazing organization that is making a tremendous impact in our community. If you cannot make it down to the store or don't live near by but would like to help with the book drive, you can make a contribution on our YouCaring page at www.youcaring.com/HighRiskHopeBooksForBabies and Livy's Hope will purchase the books to donate. Or you can ship books to:
High Risk Hope 1702 N. Avenida Republica de Cuba Tampa, FL 33605
If shipping books, please include, "Don't Give Up. Give Back. - Livy's Hope" in your message.
There is great power when we work together. How many books do you think we can all collect? Look in your closets or ask your family and friends. These books will go toward a wonderful cause. We'll be sharing more about High Risk Hope so you can see the important work that they do.
Hailey and Livy are so happy to announce that there are now 100 kids in the Epilepsy Foundation Kids Crew. And it keeps growing! These kids are from 31 states and are making a difference. Visit the Kids Crew at epilepsy.com/kids-Crew to find out more and to join. The girls can't wait to see who else will get involved.
If you are at the National Walk for Epilepsy in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 25th, Hailey and Allison will be in the Kids Crew booth. Hailey is looking forward to meeting many more kids. This will be our third trip to the National Walk and it is truly an amazing experience. It is the largest epilepsy focused walk in the country and helps the Epilepsy Foundation to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy, accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. For more information about the Walk, please click here.
Last month, Hailey and Jon were interviewed by PEACE Fund Radio. The Peace Fund, founded by Adrian Paul (the star of the Highlander series), does amazing work to help children. We have been interviewed by them in the past and they wanted to check in and see what our family is doing now. Click here to listen. The interview starts at the 32:15 minute mark. We look forward to staying in contact and hope to support them in a project later this year. A very big thank you to all those at the Peace Fund for the wonderful work they do in the community!
"Each of us is unique. Follow your dreams and become who you were destined to be."
- Livy's Hope
Don't Give Up. Give Back.™
Thanks so much!
Jon, Allison, Hailey and Livy
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