Hailey said at the time, “The goal of the Kids Crew is to educate the future leaders of our world.” Hailey and Livy learned a great deal about giving back and they wanted to share that with other kids who also wanted to help make a difference. The group met once a month to listen to presentations from organizations or individuals in the community, discuss current and future projects, participate in fun team building activities and games, and work on their current project. It was a wonderful way for kids to build relationships and to learn about making a difference.
When Jon began working at the Epilepsy Foundation, his first trip into the community was to Indiana where he met with a group of volunteers. Upon returning home, he told Hailey about one of the moms he had met. She had lost her son to SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) and it was the first time she had told her story in public. Hailey was moved by what Jon described and asked if she could get more involved in the epilepsy community. Upon describing the conversation to Phil Gattone, the current leader of the Epilepsy Foundation, he asked Hailey to start a Kids Crew program at the foundation to specifically focus on helping those with epilepsy. Hailey enthusiastically accepted and went about creating a framework for the initiative.
Fast forward and the Kids Crew now has over 3,400 members in every state in the US and multiple countries. The program is empowering kids to eliminate stigma and to create acceptance for those who with epilepsy and their families. As Hailey says, “Kids can change the world. So let’s do it now!”