Recently, Southwest Airlines donated 50 round-trip tickets, valued at $20,000, to Inheritance of Hope. This gift allows us to serve more families while meeting the goals of achieving unparalleled financial stewardship and providing ease of transportation to those for whom travelling is often most difficult.
Meet people who make inspiring hope possible!
Toward the end of 2017, our Events Director, Betsy Ogren, mentioned we were in need of someone to make wooden crosses as our previous volunteer is no longer able to keep up with our growing IoH Family. These handmade treasures are gifted to parents at our Legacy Retreats, one for each child. Upon hearing of this need I remembered that one of my interns from several years back had mentioned she volunteered at a wood shop where they made toys for kids in the hospital, so I texted her to find out what the name of that shop was. She said it was "ToyMakers of East Lake." I did some research on their website and immediately thought, "This is the perfect partnership!" and quickly began drafting an email to present our need.
I sent the email on a Sunday and heard back from Bob (the "CEO") the next day! He was agreeable to our request but needed to run it by some of his team and said he would get back to me, which he did on Tuesday. He said they would be happy to make crosses for us and offered three different sizes?! This is like just the warm up, it gets so much better!
The phrase “IoH family” is used often by Inheritance of Hope, so pervasively that one might think it is thrown around casually. That could not be further from the case. Examples abound of those who have embraced the IoH family as an extension of their own, but one of the very best is the Dix family. Dan, Brenda, David, Rebecca, and Michael have served IoH with a level of commitment that most people reserve for only their own closest relatives.
The O’Gorman family attended our NYC Legacy Retreat® in November 2016. Merritt, who loves dance and was 10 years old at the time, told local news that her favorite part was watching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes.
|The O'Gorman Family in Times Square|
Artistic whiz Mikki Skinner is a volunteer who brings her photography acumen to serve our families in a unique way. She captures memories through her lens, little and big moments, that tell the experience of a family on a Legacy Retreat®.
Her philosophy is about a photo increasing in sentimental value as time passes, like an artifact. It shows a split second in time that transports you to relive that one “sparkly memory”. If Mikki can bring a smile to a child or spouse, to help them rekindle the love of someone they lost, that’s what she hopes to do for each family. Check out her 12 favorite camera moments.
Fourteen-year-old Ethan Harned would prefer that attention be on Inheritance of Hope (IoH) instead of on himself, but his is a story that needs to be told. Ethan has raised $526 by selling wristbands, and the seed money came entirely out of his own savings. Most adults who hear about his initiative are surprised and ask what led him to use his own money. Ethan’s reaction is surprise too—that more people are not doing what he has done.
We all need love to thrive, and when you’ve found the love of your life, it’s hard to imagine losing that person. While we know that everything precious has an end point, it can be a difficult reality to face head on. This can be even more difficult when you’re facing the loss in a young family.
We’d rather live in the clouds and float away from the haze of despair, but darkness has a way of slithering in and smothering the fragility of peace. Losing one’s spouse is a devastating burden that can wrench a family apart. In the event of a terminal illness, it’s important to make preparations so that your loved ones can support each other as much as possible after the inevitable.
Meet Aaron Hedges, Inheritance of Hope’s Technology and Talent Director. He excels in both matters of the head and the heart while serving our IoH family, a role that brings him true joy. We are fortunate to enjoy his leadership on staff. Our CEO says he can truly figure anything out.
Chris Douglas wants to talk about silver linings. He can share a list of them with ease if you mention his upcoming half marathon at Soldiers Field in Rochester, Minnesota. Chris is competing in the Nut House Challenge by Triton Events next weekend with the Inheritance of Hope (IoH) team in a unique way.
Kathy Midkiff ran the Chicago marathon—her first—this past October in support of Inheritance of Hope (IoH). Her fundraising goal was to raise enough money to send an entire family on a Legacy Retreat®. Kathy’s daughter-in-law, Kerri Midkiff, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2009, and since then Kathy has seen firsthand the difficulties that IoH families face.