Grief Into New Businesses And Organizations


British brothers who survived tsunami that killed their parents sell flip flops beloved by celebrities to help orphans. Rather than being broken by the tragedy, the brothers decided to do something positive to honor the memory of their mother and father and help other orphaned children around the world. Taking inspiration from their philanthropist parents, who had given up their jobs in the fashion industry to volunteer for humanitarian projects, the pair designed flip flops made from natural materials with a woven rope style. Under the brand name Gandys, sales of the flips flops fund their ‘Orphans for Orphans’ initiative. Sir Richard Branson stocks the flip flops on his island and wears them himself. Their goal is to raise enough money to open their first children’s home by the end of next year in Goa. So far, their enterprise has also funded a teacher and a nurse in India for a year and bought school supplies for over 100 children in Asia.


Named by Interview magazine as one of the “Most Noble Crusaders of the Modern Era,” Vance’s life was turned upside-down when she lost her only son, Sam, a nineteen-year-old college freshman, to the scourge of heroin. Determined to turn her personal tragedy into a positive force for change, Vance took action. Only months after her son’s death, Vance founded the Sam Vance Foundation with a mission to help free adolescents and teens from the shackles of drug abuse. Determined to turn her son’s passing into a positive force for change, The Sam Vance Foundation was the motivation behind Sheila Vance’s return to the optical industry and the inspiration behind Sama Eyewear. Determined to make a significant impact, Vance took her “fashion with a cause” message to the world’s most powerful purveyors of youth-oriented culture: the fashion and entertainment industries. “Heroin chic was anything but chic,” says Vance, “the fact that the fashion and entertainment industries were glamorizing drug use was unacceptable and needed to be changed.” Vance’s focus on style over substance (abuse, that is!) was ultimately embraced by tastemakers and trendsetters in the fashion, film and music industries, and the Sama Eyewear legend was born. 


After the grieving sister lost her brother to suicide nearly a decade ago, she began dedicating all of her time to learning more about mental health issues. Today, she is the Executive Director and Founder of Active Minds, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the stigma associated with mental health issues, especially on college campuses. Active Minds, founded in 2003, now has 400 chapters across the country – all of which are entirely student-led.


Grieving wife and professor co-founded the organization Forefront to combat the state of Washington’s high suicide rate. The organization was created in memory of her husband, a 40 year old attorney who took his own life in 2011. Since her husband’s death, She has done everything she can to understand what was going on in his mind leading up to his suicide. “I actually got his medical records and I learned that the mental health professionals that were treating him knew that he was suicidal, but didn’t take action or behave in a way that could have potentially saved his life,” She learned that many mental health professionals never receive any training on this topic. She worked with a Washington State Representative to pass the first law of its kind in the nation, requiring health professionals in Washington State to have mandatory training in suicide prevention.


Grieving Mom, whose 21 year old son was killed in a violent crime, turns her grief into creation of Angel Hearts Support Group to support other families and victims of violent crimes. Although people offered her support in her time of grief, she said no one understands that pain more than another parent in the same situation. In the aftermath, she realized how many other parents like her were in the same situation but had no formal support group. “A lot of things go on with a death that parents don’t want to discuss because they feel guilty. I think this group will be a good way for them to not feel embarrassed or ashamed.” …


Grieving wife, singer, author, and businesswoman, who lost her 29 year old husband and father-in-law in a plane crash, believes God has a purpose for everything. She credits her grief for launching her into unexplored places.  She felt God like never before and little by little took bigger steps towards healing, using her own grief to help others through theirs. Her life changed course when she started her own frozen yogurt business. She became the CEO of di’lishi, debuting her first store in 2011, and soon franchising to 12 others. She has also tried to give back to her community and started a program where customers drop “voting spoons” into bins and, at the end of each quarter, the “votes” are counted and 3 local organizations receive money.


Rian Burke suffers a double tragedy as she first loses her 12 month old infant son from a fit brought on by influenza and bronchial pneumonia that had not been diagnosed and then just five days later, also loses her despairing husband who plunged to his death from a motorway bridge.  Burke believes he would still be alive today if he had received immediate trauma counseling after their son’s passing.  As a result, this grieving mother and wife formed “2 Wish Upon A Star” charity to help improve bereavement support urging counselors to call at the home of any parents who lose their child within 24 hours of the tragedy.


A Michigan couple, Kay Marcum and Mark Boone, lose their 20 month old son Mason from complications of a rare genetic condition, Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome, in April 2013.  The rare genetic condition prevents the body from producing the cholesterol needed for normal growth and development. In Mason’s case, it resulted in several complications – including holes in his heart and an underdeveloped brain.  Mason lost his battle just months before his 2nd birthday.  “I would have given my life for him to have his,” Marcum said. “That’s just not how it works.” While she and Mason’s father, Mark Boone, try to cope with their grief, they’re focusing much of their attention on helping other families. The couple plan to donate toys to children in hospitals to bring the children joy and so these children know they are not alone.  The grieving couple finds comfort in their new mission and also wish to make a positive impact.


It’s about hope.  A group of grieving parents in Hamilton County, Indiana is moving forward with a dream that offers comfort to those who are grieving.  Angel of Hope, Noblesville, Indiana will soon become a lasting tribute – from and for parents who have lost children.  “I have spent the last five years since my daughter Megan died looking for something good to come of it,” said Alice Hall, one of the parents pursuing the memorial. “This project has provided me with the strength to share my story and tell other people about the Memorial Garden.” It will be the sixth Angel of Hope memorial in the state and second in the Indianapolis metro area.  The grieving parents hope  the “Angel of Hope Memory Garden” will offer comfort to those parents who have lost children and that the Memory Garden to be a lasting tribute to their children who have passed on before them.


Grieving parents, who lost their son before he turned 5 years old, launched a non-profit that supports children with special needs and all those who suffer from seizures. Their son had a rare form of epilepsy that prevented him from speaking. But he was able to communicate with his parents through music and dance. After he passed away, they created “Joey’s Song,” a non-profit that supports children with special needs and all those who suffer from seizures.


Deli Owner, Lou Miceli watched his son, Louie, go from an outgoing high school football player in to a desperate heroin addict who despite four months in rehab, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 24.  I’ll never get past it, I can tell you that. To lose a child, it’s the worst thing in the world,” the Oakley Street deli owner said through tears.  Several weeks after his son’s death, the family created the LTM Hero in Awareness and Support Foundation” in Louie’s honor. The organization gathers donations for young people who can’t afford treatment for heroin addiction and to raise awareness about the drug’s detrimental properties.


Her son died in a tragic, freak accident earlier this year. Now she’s on a mission to help other grieving parents and spare them some of the pain she endured.  She and her friends have launched a non-profit called “Bridges of Support” to guide parents through the grieving process.  The organization will help with the funeral planning process, assist financially, help connect them with grief counselors and even set up a “Care Calendar” for meals. “I found I feel better by helping other people. I can’t show Wyatt my love anymore. So I take what I have that I would use on him and try to give it to other people,” she explained.


A grieving family creates a foundation in memory of a sister, Katrina Smith, who suddenly disappeared and whose body was found later.  Smith’s sister, Miranda Castro, announced the launch of “Sissy’s Footprints Foundation” before friends and family released about 150 yellow balloons into the sky to celebrate what would have been Smith’s 31st birthday.  The goal of the Foundation is to raise money that will be donated to a local grief counseling center.  The Foundation’s name comes from the nickname, Sissy, that Castro always called her older sister.  Footprints comes from the poem, “Footprints in the Sand” about how God walks with everyone and carries them through their most difficult times. 


In 1997, grieving mother, Jean Beasley, established “The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center” in loving memory of her daughter, Karen Beasley, who had led local efforts to protect turtles before losing her five year battle with leukemia at 29 years old.  Jean and her volunteers have rehabilitated and released more than 300 turtles back into the wild, fought for and won stronger regulatory protections in North Carolina and worked to educate the public about the threats sea turtles face in the wild.


Bridgette and Dominic Russo’s 7 year old son, Matthew, passed away in September 2010, while choking on his lunch at school.  “We couldn’t just let his spirit disappear, we had to keep Matthew alive in some way,” Bridgette Russo explains, her voice cracking.  And while life will never be the same again for Bridgette or husband Dominic they have taken solace from the amazing legacy their little boy has left behind.  So after his death, the couple decided to set up “The Matthew Russo Foundation” and in a little over two years, it has helped scores of families struggling with the challenges of bringing up children with special needs which the Russos are familiar with since Matthew had autism.


If a life is measured not in years but in its impact, then Laura Brennan’s life was immense and her legacy is an extraordinary one that continues to make important changes to the lives of sick children from her native Malahide and beyond.  In 2008, the lives of Pat and Nuala Brennan and their family were turned upside down when their eldest daughter Laura, a 16-year-old, basketball star studying at Malahide Community College, became ill and hospitalized.  Laura’s condition was so rare, there was neither the expertise or the equipment to deal with it in this country and soon the Brennans found themselves en route to Newcastle and meeting a team of Swedish medics in an effort to save their teenage daughter.  But Laura’s time in Newcastle was to be short, her condition had spiraled out of control and her parents were faced with the unimaginably awful news that their daughter’s brain activity had ceased.  Pat said: ‘The hardest part then was the thought that we had to go home without her.”  In their grief, Pat and Nuala Brennan, set up the “Laura Brennan Charitable Trust” in honor of their 16 year old daughter who inexplicably and suddenly became very ill and ended up passing away in the hospital.  The Charity is to help sick children access care they would not otherwise be able to afford.


Ten years ago, Forbes Contributor, Natalie Peace lost her beautiful stepmother, Mary, after a six year battle with breast cancer. In her early twenties at the time, this was Natalie’s first experience with death of a parent and a heartbreaking loss.  It made her profoundly aware of how short and unpredictable life can be.  As Natalie wrote in Forbes magazine in May 2012, “my life became full of purpose and meaning.  I knew I had to make a contribution, and I wanted to use business to do it…My business was my way of honoring Mary. This revelation motivated Natalie not to waste time nor put off in the distant future the dreams one has and to start her dream business of helping people to nurture their entrepreneurial dreams in a holistic way.  She has owned a Booster Juice franchise that grossed $2 million in the first two years, hosted a TV show The New Entrepreneur, authored a book, and started a professional business coaching enterprise.


Grieving family, whose son died from the illness of drug addiction, wants to prevent it from happening to other people and families. “People suffering with addiction don’t have a way to speak for themselves. We want to be that voice out there. The grieving family wants to take this tragedy and turn it into something positive for the community.” The family channeled their grief into motivation and set up the Eric Rose Memorial Foundation which aims to bolster addiction support efforts in Dayton. “There is such a negative stigma attached to addiction illnesses. It’s a very misunderstood disease and often, people who are suffering don’t know how to treat it. There are people who need this kind of help here.”


Tanya Ross and Laura Young were moved to create their charities after watching their own children spend long periods in the hospital before their tragic deaths. Tanya Ross and Laura Young both know what it is like to watch their children spend long periods of time in hospital suffering from a terminal illness.  Before Tanya’s 16 month old son, Harris, lost his life to cancer he had spent nine months in the hospital. Laura’s 8 year old daughter, Verity, died after battling the auto-immune condition Lupus for five years.  In the wake of their heartache, both Tanya and Laura set up charities – STAR for Harris and The Teapot Trust – to provide different types of therapy.  “So after Verity’s death we set up the Teapot Trust to provide professional art therapy for chronically ill children. Tanya, 32, of Fort William, set up STAR in memory of Harris, who died in August 2010.  The charity is funding music therapy for young oncology patients in Edinburgh, and is paying for a similar project to run at Yorkhill from early next year.


A massacre in March 1999, that left many widows and orphans in Kosovo, is now being known for its vegetable producing enterprise that processes pickles and peppers into relish.  What started as a project to distract the women from the grief and pain they suffered from the aftermaths of the massacre has through the years, become a successful enterprise.


Grieving parents, Kayla and Clay Johnson, who lost their daughter Zoe hours after her birth in 2004, turned their loss into something positive for other grieving parents.  They founded the nonprofit “Zoe Foundation” in 2009, in Savannah, Georgia to help families deal with the financial burdens brought on by the loss of a baby such as burial and cremation expenses for children up to 2 years old.  They also pair parents with local support groups.


While pregnant in 2009, Jennifer Harden and her husband, Josh, were told by doctors that their son, Matthew, was diagnosed with a pulmonary valve defect.  Attempts to have in utero surgery were turned down.  By 18 weeks, Matthew was given little or no chance for survival yet the Hardens refused to terminate the pregnancy.  While Jennifer was pregnant, she received a little bag with items to help her remember Matthew.  She was so moved by this that she thought other mothers should share this experience.  That was the impetus for her organization, “Cherishing the Journey,” which sends such kits to six local hospitals.


Dawn and Mick Rutherfort’s devastating experience of the loss of their son in utero before 24 weeks has prompted them to create “Little Angel Wings” in 2009.  They realized there was not enough support for parents in their situation who suffered the loss of their child before birth especially since the law states that any child lost under 24 weeks is counted as a miscarriage. In addition to offering parents emotional support, this non-profit organization also continuously raises money to provide financial support to assist parents to obtain plaques and headstones to commemorate their unborn child.


Craig Stobo, a tax manager, was looking forward to the birth of his second child and first daughter with his wife and best friend, 38 year old Fiona Agnew.  During his wife’s pregnancy, Craig fell critically ill from sepsis, a complication from an infection that is common but often misdiagnosed.  Fiona also contracted the illness and passed away from it when her unborn child was 35 weeks.  As a result of his unexpected and devastating loss, Craig set up a charity called “FEAT” {Fiona Elizabeth Agnew Trust} to raise awareness about this illness which claims about 37,000 lives each year in the UK and to also fund research in this relatively common but unrecognized condition.


Lesley and Peter Mitchell started “Lucy’s First Step,” a non-profit organization for families suffering the loss of a child, after losing their baby at 17 weeks in utero.  “Lucy’s First Step” runs a counselor moderated support group providing financial assistance for private counseling and also to provide an infant burial package that is totally funded and comprehensiveIt is specifically designed to help parents take their first steps toward learning how to live with the overwhelming loss of a child.  Although this sense of loss never goes away, according to the Mitchells, they found it possible to give grief a place in their lives while continuing to live.


A Seattle mother of two, Chanel Reynolds, launched a bluntly written, one-stop estate planning website after her husband was fatally injured in a biking accident.  On top of the grief, she faced stress and costs because there was no will or any of the other legal documents needed to handle a loved one’s assets after passing away. “I really wanted to be focusing on what the doctors were saying and taking care of my children when instead I was just overwhelmed by this pile of questions about legal stuff and finances and probate courts, and it was occasionally the thing that would just put me over the edge,” Reynolds says.  Her website features templates for key documents and other necessary information required.


Steve James suffered a terrible loss in 2001, when his 19 year old daughter, Brittney, passed away.  A year after his daughter’s death, James felt compelled to visit a young boy, Newton, who Brittney sponsored for 3 years in Western Kenya.  Brittney had hoped to meet  Newton one day but never had the chance.  This one visit promulgated “Kenya Relief” which in the past ten years has organized many mission trips, averaging 20 a year.  So far, more than 1,100 nurses and doctors have volunteered with “Kenya Relief” to treat more than 60,000 patients.  The organization has also added a water filtration system, provided more than 400,000 nutritious meals to the hungry, established a goat sharing system for widows and built a state of the art operating room.  In January 2013, the Kenya Relief Academy opened and now provides schooling for 270 children within the community.


Grieving couple, Jason and Susan Smith, started the “Emerson Rose Heart Foundation” after their daughter, Emerson Rose, passed away at 2-1/2 months from a congenital heart defect. The Foundation supplies hospitals with screening protocols and the necessary equipment to implement it so other families may be helped.


Grieving Kenyan widow, Margaret Kawala, started a center to help widows and orphans called  “Kosimbo Widows and Orphans” in 2005, as a non-government organization.  Its purpose is to bring together widows and orphans in individual homes rather than orphanages or institutions,  Ms. Kawala does this in the hopes of empowering women to start taking care of themselves.


Rachel Moyer turns the tragedy of the sudden death of her 15 year old son who collapsed from aortic cardiac arrest during a high school basketball game into a personal mission  Her son, Greg Moyer, is one of an estimated 7,000 kids each year who die from sudden cardiac arrest.  An automated external defibrillator {AED} could have restarted his heart but like most American schools, Greg’s school did not have one.  So, Rachel Moyer started a nonprofit group, “Parent Heart Watch” that has paid for more than 1,000 defibrillators and lobbies states to require them in schools.  As a result of her efforts, five states now do.  Rachel Moyer says “You can stay in bed and not do anything because the grief is so overwhelming or you can get out of bed and make a difference,” she says.  Rachel Moyer is one mother who has turned her loss into a personal mission.


Marine Corporal Michelle Salazar and her husband, Lance Corporal Alejandro Salazar, turned what began as a tragedy into an opportunity to help infants in need.  Their daughter, Alexa, was born November 25, 2012, but only two months later, she suddenly passed away while asleep for an unknown reason.   In March 2013, Michelle and Alejandro started “Alexa’s Wings,” a non-profit chapter of “Newborns in Need, Inc.” which is a national organization with more than 60 chapters across the U.S.  Its goal is to provide essential items for impoverished families or families whose babies lost their battle for life.


Grieving dad Derek Kennedy banded together with communities to honor the memory of his 5 year old son, Jack, who passed away from a sudden illness six days before Christmas which also would have been his sixth birthday.  Derek started the “Brightest Star,” a charity whose ambition is to open a supportive center known as “Hulk’s Haven” where grieving parents and family members can go to stay.  The Incredible Hulk was Jack’s favorite superhero.


Hope springs from grief.  Mitch McPherson, 25, a glazier, who lost his 18 year old brother Ty, in January 2013, to suicide and Amanda Cuthbertson, who lost her 16 year old son, Albert, in 2010, to suicide have joined forces together.  Mrs. Cuthbertson dreams of having a safe house called “Albie House” to provide a refuge in the form of a non-clinical, 24 hour a day environment for young people and those left behind.  Mr. McPherson has designed stickers that say “Speak UP. Stay ChatTY” with the focus on the TY for his brother Ty.  Revenue from the stickers shall go towards building “Albie House.”


Losing a loved one is never easy  and one never really recovers from the loss of a child.  British TV presenter Gloria Hunniford, 72 years old, lost her 41 year old daughter, Caron Keating, in 2004, after a long battle with breast cancer.  Gloria Hunniford established “The Caron Keating Foundation,” a fundraising charity to help other cancer charities throughout England, which has been a form of therapy that has helped her through her overwhelming heartbreak and grief.


Grieving mom, Sadie Bankston has helped hundreds of grieving families after suffering the loss of her own son, 19 year old Wendell Grixby who was shot and killed in 1989 in a Omaha, Nebraska mall.  Just two years later in 1991, Ms. Bankston created PULSE, {People Uniting, Lending Support and Encouragement}.  It is a one woman mission which provides care packages and support to the “secondary victims of homicide,” the homicide victim’s family.


Two years after losing their precious 5 year old son, Emilio, to leukemia, Richard and Diane Nares started the Emilio Nares Foundation {ENF} whose signature program was “Ride With Emilio.”  It provides rides for low-income families in his Orange County community, many of whom are single moms, and their children to hospitals for cancer treatment.  During his son’s chemotherapy session, Richard noticed that many children often had to take several buses to get to their chemotherapy.  It has also expanded to provide information and family support systems to children with cancer such as patient advocacy programs whose motto is “Empowering parents is what this program is all about,” bereavement and burial support, community education, awareness and family wellness.


On February 7, 1999, Misty Baker saw her 9 year old daughter, Erica, for the last time.  Erica disappeared from a park that afternoon and investigators later determined that Erica was struck and killed by a van that same day.  Now, in 2013, Erica’s mom will prove good can still come from a tragedy by awarding four local high school students with scholarships in her daughter’s honor.  Misty says, “I didn’t get to do this for Erica, so I wanted to do it for another child.  I wanted to help girls who, like Erica, had learning disabilities or struggle in school.”  Erica had ADHD.


Easter Sunday on March 25, 2008, was when Jody Miller heard her doorbell ring at 12:45 a.m.  When she got to the door, she saw two deputy sheriffs on her front porch who told her that her 21 year old daughter, Heather, had been in a car accident.  Heather was just 6 weeks away from graduating from nursing school at West Virginia University.  They later learned that police believed alcohol was a factor in the driver of the other car that crashed into Heather’s.  The other driver only suffered minor injuries and left the scene of the accident.  This incident prompted Jody Miller to start a MADD {Mothers Against Drunk Driving} Chapter since none existed at that time in her home state of West Virginia.


Grieving daughter, Stacey Summer, sets up an alcohol charity, “DRINKLiNK” in 2012, to provide information and to help raise awareness of alcoholism in Aberdeen, Scotland.  This charity is a tribute to her father, a functioning alcoholic who suddenly passed away in 2007.  Growing up, Stacey was unaware of her father’s secret affliction which kills one in 20 people in Scotland and costs the government 3.6 billion each year.


M.J. Law has turned the loss of his daughter, Madyson Law, into grief charity work. “Grief is like having a terminal disease…you have to manage it.”  Money raised goes to causes Mady supported by volunteering or saving her allowance, such as “Joey’s Eagles,” “Relay for Life” and “Bushkill Outreach.”  There is also an art scholarship, because she loved art.  Money has also gone to help with medical expenses and funeral expenses for children who have passed away.


New York City resident, Tracey Van Vooris, has paid tribute to her mother, Gail, who died of brain cancer by launching a line of fashionable head scarves for women with hair loss.  Gail had difficulty finding stylish and comfortable headscarves and/or turbans after chemotherapy, 2 brain surgeries, and 46 radiation treatments that left her bare head especially sensitive.  So, Tracey decided to create her own line of attractive head scarves and named it “Robin Hoods,” Robin being her mother’s middle name.


Randy and Ree Erick have lived every parents’ worst nightmare.  In 2006, their only son, 2 year old Silas, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that is often deadly.  After Silas died on December 5, 2007, the Ericksons, in the middle of their grief, decided to honor their son by finding a way to give more families with ill children a place to stay during their children’s hospital treatments at The Mayo Clinic.  Randy says, “Through the grief, God just gave us a mission.  We want to help families who are in such dire situations.  Hotels are very expensive.”  So, they sold their home and bought another in Rochester, Minnesota and created “Cy’s Place” named after their son.


Grieving Floridian Dad, Paul Mello, who lost his 13 month old twin boys, Christian and Joshua, in 2010, in an accidental pool drowning, says he is trying to turn their senseless death into a meaningful mission.  To preserve their memory, Paul started the “Just Against Children Drowning” foundation dedicated to pool safety and drowning prevention.  Paul says, “Being around pools all the time in Florida and seeing different situations, I just felt something needed to be done.  I want nothing but peace and goodness to come out of this.”


Jason and Joyce Weber lost their little girl, Quinn Ruthie Weber, just six hours after she was born.  This unexpected loss took the young couple completely by surprise since they were expecting a healthy little girl.  They decided to turn their grief into something beneficial to help others and knew  they wanted to save children through a group called “Holden Uganda.”  “Holden Uganda” is an organization founded by the parents of Holden Newell Erwin who was born on August 28, 2010, and passed away that same day. They wanted to memorialize the nine months he lived in his mother by establishing nine wells, one a month in Uganda for each of the months he lived in utero.


A New Jersey couple, Debbie and Bill Streiter, are taking action after losing two of their children, 20 year old Ashley and 23 year old Billy, to a drunk driver ten years ago.  Out of a tragedy, they find comfort by opening up “The Billy and Ashley Drunk Driving Resource Center” on the anniversary of their children’s deaths to help victims of drunk drivers with any legal or personal issues.  In addition, the Streiters have also raised thousands of dollars for  scholarships they have given out to students over the years.


June 1, 2011, Betsy Reed Schultz arrived at Dover Air Force base to witness the arrival of her only child’s casket, Army Green Beret Capt. Joseph Schultz.  On Memorial Day weekend, a bomb in Afghanistan struck the Humvee that Capt. Schultz, 36, was riding in along with two soldiers under his command, Staff Sgt. Martin Apolinar, 28 years old, and Sgt. Aaron Blasjo, 25 years old, leaving no survivors.  In grieving her only child, she established the “Capt. Joseph House Foundation” in Port Angeles, Washington just outside Seattle.  If all goes according to plan, families of military personnel who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, a tight knit fraternity, will have a new place where they can come together.  It will be a retreat center in Schultz’s former Bed and Breakfast, a Tudor style home that is now called “Capt. Joseph House” in honor of her lost son. For Betsy Reed Schultz, who was a single parent, founding the Capt. Joseph House has been part of her own healing process.


Heidi Johnson, knows the grief of losing an infant minutes after giving birth.  She also knows how much comfort can be found in small, unique reminders of her daughter, Sarah Faith, whose memory she cherishes every day.  Eight months after Sarah Faith’s birth, Johnson is reaching out to other grieving parents, creating custom made ornaments in honor of babies who died before birth or whose lives were brief.  These ornaments are provided through “Sarah’s Tiny Treasures,” a new combined business and ministry Heidi Johnson started. She provides ornaments at no charge for parents who have lost an infant.  She says, “I think moms, especially, like to have as many things to remember their child by.  That’s always important.”


Grieving Texas couple, Tom and Debi Logan, were devastated when the helicopter their son, Corporal Joey Logan, was riding in during his tour in Afghanistan went down killing him and six fellow crew members.  Corporal Logan had fallen in love with Montana on a previous 3 month fishing trip through the Rocky Mountain States and told his Dad “I want to move here, I want to live here, I want to work here, and I want to raise a family here.”  So, in his memory, the Logan family created “The Red Lions Project” to find a 160 acre tract of land in Montana to build cabins named after the “Fallen 6” where other soldiers can come to regroup and re-boot their lives after the trauma of war.