We receive beautiful and heartbreaking emails each and every week. You share your stories and your loved ones’ stories with us. Thank you. Maria wrote to us about her friend, Rebecca. They met in an online support group for people trying to conceive after loss. Just before Christmas 2014, Rebecca gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Kieran. She described, “He was big and healthy, and we took him home from the hospital as proud parents.” Within days of coming home, he became sick and was treated for jaundice, but had bacterial meningitis caused by E. coli. Kieran fell into a coma and never woke up. Rebecca wrote, “All of the light and color in our life went with him. We have found some color again in the last year by planting flowers at his grave, tending them, and trying to make it nice for his memory. It has been therapeutic for us.” When Maria wrote to us earlier this year, she shared, “I was saddened to learn recently that Rebecca and her husband haven’t been able to afford a memorial stone for Kieran’s grave, and that dear Rebecca feels guilty about this.” They had found a peaceful place for their son at […]
Our hearts have been heavy with despair, here at Together Rising, over the severe flooding in West Virginia, Louisiana, and other states over the last many months. We knew we wanted to help, but were not sure what we could do amidst such devastation. As the school year was starting, and as we prepared our own children’s backpacks to return to school, we realized that for many students in West Virginia and Louisiana, there was no school to return to. Last month, we made a donation to purchase school supplies for Louisiana children whose classrooms and school supplies had been lost. (Read that story, here.) With your everyday donations, we wanted to do something for our beloved sisters and brothers in West Virginia, too. We connected with June, an 11th-grade English teacher at Herbert Hoover High School in West Virginia, who was organizing the school’s homecoming. Over the summer, seven feet of water filled the school, flooding over 75% of Herbert Hoover High. Several students and teachers lost their homes and the school would have to be rebuilt, but June was determined to give her students a dance. With no high school to go to, the district set up a plan to “timeshare” the middle school – where […]
Earlier this Spring, we heard from Anna, who told us an unimaginable story about two families near and dear to her heart – the Montoyas and the McKinnons. The Montoya family was visiting the McKinnon family in Virginia for the weekend. In the middle of the night, a fire broke out while the families were sleeping. Tom and Lindsay McKinnon’s boys, Patrick (10) and Logan (5), did not survive the fire. Each and every attempt to get to the boys was met with a raging wall of flames and smoke. Zak and Christy Montoya and their girls, Gigi and Bella, survived. In her attempts to rescue the McKinnon boys, Christy was engulfed in flames and suffered 3rd degree burns to her arms, back, shoulders, airway, and hands. While fundraisers were held for both families, Anna reached out to us detailing a special project she had in mind. “I can’t tell you how many times Tom and Lindsay have come to my rescue or helped me in some way. They have always been my biggest cheerleaders and supporters, somehow they have this magical way of making me feel like I can do anything. And I am not alone, anyone who has ever […]
We learned about the non-profit Deaf Camps, Inc. when board member, Louise Rollins nominated her colleague, and Deaf Camps president, Kathy MacMillian for our Shero Love Flash Mob last year. Deaf Camps is an all-volunteer organization that runs a summer camp program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Deaf Camps provides accommodations for campers who have additional special needs and who would not be able to attend other camps designed for deaf children. They also provide a program for hearing children who want to learn American Sign Language, so that they can learn and play alongside their deaf siblings, friends, and neighbors. Many of the deaf campers attend mainstream schools and have few or no deaf friends at their schools. Deaf Camps provides a valuable social outlet for children and a rare opportunity for a fully accessible environment, free of communication barriers. Campers hike, swim, play games, perform skits, worship, make arts and crafts, go rafting, build confidence, and make new friends. A little over 50% of the 100 campers receive scholarships to attend. Countless volunteer staff hours are required to fundraise and support this tremendous effort. The Deaf Camps Board told us that their biggest dream is […]
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Contributions to Together Rising are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Together Rising's tax identification number is 45-5362738.