Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.
About a month ago, I received a Facebook message from a friend asking me to take a look at a flyer for an event she was coordinating. It was a fundraiser in memory of a little girl named Ellie who lost her battle with cancer far too early. Sandy, my friend, was looking for some feedback on the flyer.
In her message, she mentioned how excited she was about the generosity of the local businesses she was contacting about donating goods and services for the event and the willingness of her fellow moms who offered to help.
Sandy tells me that she has wanted to do something for Ellie’s Charitable Fund for a while but wasn’t quite sure what to do. Ellie and Sandy’s daughter, Laina, were best friends since they were two. They played together and danced together and did all the things that little girls that age did together.
When Ellie got sick, Laina never questioned anything or even noticed anything different about her friend. She didn’t ask why Ellie lost her hair, why she had tubes coming out of her chest, or why she got so tired during dance that she often had to be carried by her teachers.
It wasn’t until Ellie died that Laina even comprehended her best friend had been sick. And how do you even explain something like that to a child so young?
Ellie was 5 when she died.
Sandy decided to put together a fundraiser for two reasons – out of sheer compassion for Ellie’s mom, Beth, and so that Laina will never forget Ellie.
The event is an age-appropriate “dolly and me” tea party and will benefit the Power of Elle. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their fancy tea party clothes and bring a favorite doll. There are some pretty cool raffle items up for grabs as well.
Oh, about that flyer. Sandy didn’t even need it. The event sold out in less than a day through the Facebook event she created. It’s not until September, and she filled up the 60 person seating capacity and even has a waiting list in case people have to cancel last minute. If it’s a success – and I can’t imagine it won’t be with Sandy running it – she’s hoping it will be an annual event.
Generosity. Community. Support. Love. Compassion. Honor. Whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty darn great.
Ellie is certainly smiling down upon us all.