Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Who I Am

I am a wife to a loving and understanding husband and a mom to 2 beautiful and wonderful kids, Brayden, age 5 and Kennedy, age 3. Before coming to Heroes for Children I worked for a nonprofit blood bank in California. When my son was born in 2003 I became a stay at home. We moved our family of 3 to Texas in 2004. Right around this time, I was involved in an online mom’s board and two days after Allie was diagnosed with AML there was a site message that took us to http://www.scotthousehold.com (yes, I was one of those internet stalkers). I was immediately captivated by those blue eyes and her mom’s strength. I remember staying up late hoping for the day’s update, many times reading through tears. I remember being in awe of how much courage Jenny had to share every bit of Allie with so many people. Shortly after moving to Texas we found out we were pregnant with our baby girl. When Allie passed away I so badly wanted to go to her funeral but I felt I would be intruding on this family I only knew through the computer. I continued to follow Allie’s story. When Jenny and Larissa started HFC I knew I wanted to get involved but I also had a 6 month old (who screamed A LOT!!) and a 2 year old with no family in the area to help me with babysitting. I participated in the 5K in 2005 to support HFC and still knew that I wanted and needed to get involved with the organization.

In the fall of 2007, Brayden started his last year of preschool and at registration time (that happens 8 months before the school year starts) I didn’t register Kennedy, thinking she wouldn’t be ready. But of course she proved me wrong the first day of school when she kicked and screamed “where is my class,” while I dragged her away and right pass the director. She gave me one of those I told you so looks but also offered to see what she can find for Kennedy. Oh the excitement I felt walking out of that school that morning. I was going to have both my kids in school 2 days a week. It took 2 months for them to find a spot for Kennedy but once they did, both Kennedy and I were hooked...preschool rocks!

By January I was feeling the need to do something with my free time. I had too much of it apparently. So I finally filled out the volunteer form for HFC! In March I started with addressing envelopes and that progressed to volunteering every Monday in the office while my kids were at preschool. Jenny and I hit it off and I feel like we walked into each other’s lives at the precise moment we needed to. When Jenny started talking to me about coming to work for HFC I was ecstatic to be offer the opportunity to not only do what I love to do (events) but to be working for such an amazing organization, I couldn’t resist. Though I do admit I had a few “what I am doing going back to work after being a stay at home mom for 5 years” moments during the 2 month approval process. But I couldn’t ask for a better job, with wonderful co-workers, and being able to make a difference in people’s lives.

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Addition to the HFC Team!

We've had some changes around the Heroes for Children office. Christi Disch has moved over to become our Program Services Coordinator. Christi's main responsibility will be working on ensuring the mission of the organization are fulfilled through things such as Heroes Milestones, Laptops for Love, and other special services to families with children battling cancer. She will lead the HFC Friends Women's Auxiliary, along with our 2008--2009 President Christie Cahoon to coordinate volunteers to impact families as well. We're thrilled to have Christi in this new role.

With this change came the need for a new Special Events Coordinator. I'm very excited to announce that Danielle Soffa has joined our team! Danielle started last week with Heroes for Children and is already hard at work on the Heroes for Children Golf Classic and the 5K Run/Walk.

I don't want to steal her time in the spotlight. I'll let her tell you all about herself and why she's involved with Heroes for Children. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Danielle to the HFC team!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Shining Star Jocelyn Celebrates 15 in Style!!

Jocelyn’s Quinceanera was a night for her and her family to remember for a lifetime. With the help of HFC Friends and other Heroes for Children supporters we were able to provide Jocelyn with a fantastic Quinceanera Celebration.

Jocelyn arrived in style at the Hampton Inn in Mesquite at 7:00 PM. She was welcomed by the Hampton staff and multiple Heroes for Children volunteers. She arrived in a stretch Hummer with her 12 attendants, her date, and a few other friends.

Thanks to many gracious supporters of Heroes for Children, we were able to provide Jocelyn with the party of a lifetime. She wanted a star theme with light blue and silver colors- so we filled the room with balloons and stars. The balloons were donated by Balloons Everyday .The venue and food were donated by John Q Hammond Hotels (They run the Hampton in Mesquite). Mesquite High School Hospitality students and Hampton Managers were the servers. The dress, accessories, cake, and limo were all donated by HFC Friends members. The glowing floral centerpieces were arranged by Megan Williamson, our resident graphic/ floral designer:) And HFC Volunteers came to help set-up and tear down. We can’t thank you all enough for helping us celebrate Jocelyn’s life in such an extravagant manner.

The best quote of the evening was from Jocelyn’s father, “ I just want to thank Heroes for Children for making my baby girl’s dream come true!”. Jocelyn and her family thanked us profusely for providing them with this special celebration!

Check out NBC for a great segment from the event.

Event photos courtesy of the fabulous Taylor Made Messages (Taylor Pointer) and Haute Shot Photography (Jennifer Zindler). Pre-event photos courtesy of Stacy Sims .