We want to thank everyone that participated in this year's Gift of Giving charity drive. Your generous donations were gifted to Shriner's Hospital for Children, an institution that took good care of Mitchell when he was with us.
Each blanket, book and toy were tagged with a Mitchell's Journey card that shared how your gift was given in memory of little Mitch and in hope of their recovery.
Here is a small sampling of the gift delivery. Jonathan Gardner, Luke Ray, [Aunt] Sonya, Natalie and myself delivered the gifts this afternoon and helped stock toy boxes, shelves and rooms with toys for children who often encounter scary medical procedures.
These gifts and blankets give children something to look forward to and help ease their worried hearts. We saw first-hand what it did for Mitch and we wanted to return that gift of comfort to other children.
As we left the hospital, Natalie and her sister Sonya hugged each other, missing little Mitch but glad to do something good in his memory.
The moment I stepped out of the hospital doors I remembered this very view 12 years ago when little Mitch was diagnosed at the age of 3. I was overwhelmed with tender thoughts and I did all that I could to hold back my tears.
This was the bench I sat on while I wept over tiny Mitchell's diagnosis that fateful summer day.
But my tears soon turned to smiles as I saw the good people in my life. Jonathan Gardner [left] made a significant life change because of Mitchell's life and death and he has become a dear friend and volunteer of Mitchell's Journey. Then there's Natalie, my sweet wife and best friend who has long served as my rock and compass. Then Luke Ray [right] who was deeply moved over the life of Mitch and has been a faithful friend and volunteer of Mitchell's Journey ever since his passing. Whenever I call to ask Luke for help, his attitude is "whatever you want help with, the answer is yes." The world needs more Jonathan's and Luke's.
Today was a good day. A day of service and love and a day of remembering. Thanks to your generous contributions, we were able to spread more love and kindness.