We spent October “triking” Henry’s heroes at the fire station. Thank you to everyone who participated.
The First Friday for November is written by Pam Griffith (Henry’s preschool teacher).
I met Henry in the fall of 2011 when his older brother Owen started Happy Hearts preschool. This was just 6 months after he was diagnosed with Leukemia. I have to admit it was a bit of a shock to see him that first time. He was bald from chemotherapy and swollen from the steroids. But he could pull on your heartstrings with his big cheeky smile…and he smiled often. Henry wanted to do everything his older brother did. He would wash his hands in the wash tub, walk down the hall to the classroom, and then head straight to the sensory tub. It really didn’t matter what was going on in the rest of the room, his attention was on that tub. Each week was a new experience; sand, popcorn, peas, beans, cornmeal, rice, soapy water, etc.
Henry’s parents were so strong throughout his treatment. Even during his most difficult health challenges they made sure that life stayed as normal as possible. We watched and cheered Henry on over the next 2 years as he fought the hard battle against cancer. One of the greatest days of celebration was when they turned in the enrollment form for Henry to start preschool in the fall of 2013. Sadly, instead of starting preschool, Henry was placed on hospice. Even though he never officially attended as a student, he will always be a Happy Hearts kid to me.
One of my most vivid memories of Henry was a day his dad brought Owen to school. Henry was wearing the cutest shirt that said “Daddy’s copilot”. I shared with Henry and Lucas that my son was an Air Force pilot flying a KC-135 refueler. The look on Henry’s face was priceless. I could tell he had great admiration for pilots and for the military.
I have several heroes in my life. One is my son who refuels military jets in the sky. The other is a little boy who is no longer among us, but continues to bring smiles to others with his little red tricycle.
So we thought since Veteran’s Day is this month that it would only be fitting to recognize Henry’s respect for the military and have our kindness theme be TRIKE THE TROOPS. We did this last year as a side project when my son was deployed and it was a great success. We sent over 350 cards and 40 gallons of treats to the troops stationed in Qatar.
Our goal is to exceed that amount. We will personally deliver items to Fairchild AFB the first part of December where they will be placed on a plane heading directly to the base in Qatar. Here are a few options on how you can participate.
*make a card (mail before Nov. 28th to our headquarters: message us for the address)
*make a tax deductible donation to our nonprofit (all donations received this month will be used to purchase items for the troops)
*if you’re local you can drop by treats and small toiletries (message us to make arrangements)
Some favorites are gum, mints, jerky, pepperoni, sunflower seeds, goldfish, granola bars, nuts and candy that can survive temps of 100+ (unfortunately that means no chocolates)
*You could also trike some local veterans by taking treats to your town’s legion post or to a VA hospital.
Let’s show our members of the military how much we appreciate and respect their service to our country!