When creating Livy’s Hope a few years ago, our focus was on detailing Livy and our family’s journey through the ups and downs that have accompanied Livy’s medical condition. We have learned so much about ourselves and our views on life. From Hailey’s perspective, this is the way it is supposed to be. She doesn’t know any different. We don’t take long vacations and certainly don’t travel far from home as a family. Our home is our fortress where we find comfort and security in what we know best. When we ask Hailey if she is unhappy that we haven’t done many things families usually do, she answers with a confident, “It doesn’t bother me at all. I love my family the way it is.” She is a remarkable 8 year old. I hope she continues to feel that way as she gets older.
Allison and I often discuss our inability to travel and do certain things as a family. One Saturday morning, not long ago, we were sitting in our kitchen after just having heard an advertisement for Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. Allison got really sad because it sounded like so much fun. But we know for us, it would be too difficult. The last time we took Livy to Disney, she had seizures from the afternoon through the evening. There was far too much stimulation. So I told Allison that it’s true, we can’t do many of the things other families can do. But then I added that we have the opportunity to do something extraordinary. By sharing our story on Livy’s Hope and helping others, we have the chance to change lives and to make a real difference. Spreading hope to a single individual can influence hundreds if not thousands more. It only takes one person to start something great. At that moment, I saw the light shine in her eyes like I haven’t in a long time.
I have read that in order to get to where you want to be in life, you first have to know where you are going. For us and Livy’s Hope, our goal is to create an organization that brings hope to those who need it and to inspire people to do amazing things. We have been writing for a few months that we are going to use some of the profits from sales on Livy’s Hope and put them toward supportive programs. We finally created our first project and wanted to share the details. Hailey designed a series of bracelets and we will be donating them to girls staying at All Children’s hospital in St. Petersburg. In the scheme of life, it is small but we know that the small acts of kindness can make a dramatic impact. We hope to expand to additional hospitals as we go. In the end, supporting Livy’s Hope not only helps Livy, but now it will help many others as well.
Since Hailey has played such a tremendous role with Livy’s Hope and has used her talents to raise money for Livy, we thought it only fitting that she is the one to talk about our first Giving Back project. In the video, she shares what our plans are. We look forward to continuing this project and to creating others which allow us to fulfill our mission of inspiring hope in the lives of sick and disabled children and their families.
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Wow! Hailey, your new bracelets are so beautiful! That is a very, very kind thing you are doing to help bring joy to others. I'm so proud of you! You are an AMAZING young girl, and I admire you greatly! - Jon and Allison: Watching this video of Hailey makes me feel so proud of her; I can only imagine how proud YOU must be. I am continually amazed by just how much both of your girls touch and inspire the world in their own unique ways - they have touched me deeply. They truly are Angel's among us! Thank you, (again) for your willingness to share your family's story with us - I am very grateful to you both. What a blessing!
Seeing as Gary Parrish is as gifted with words and writing as are you both, I will just second EVERYTHING he has said so beautifully. Blessings to all of you.