Not to be a downer (I promise this blog will warm your heart!), but I was just reading about Beverly Hills Housewife Taylor Armstrong. Her husband Russell committed suicide in August. Their daughter, Kennedy is just five and this is her first Christmas without her Dad. How is Taylor coping? How does anyone under these circumstances?
“It's very different, but at the same time we're getting through it,” Taylor told E! News. “We went and got our tree just like we always do. Once it was up and decorated I felt like, ‘OK, we did it. We got through it.’ Right now for us, it's just day-to-day and realizing that we're going to make it.”
Along these same lines, on December 4 I heard a very sad story via my hometown of Wayne, NJ. Diane Voit, mother of three boys ages, 3, 13 and 16 committed suicide. Her husband, John, the boys’ father, committed suicide in the Spring. Leaving behind no notes or means of financial support for their children, John’s brother Jamie Voit has since signed on to be their legal guardian.What makes this story even more heartbreaking is that the home where the boys were living was destroyed in the Hurricane Irene flooding. These kids lost everything: Their parents, their home and all of their possessions.
As a blogger, companies reach out to me to review and promote their brands. This time I reached out to them to send Christmas gifts for the Voit boys. Thanks to Lego, Zoobies and the elves at Coyne PR, Christopher, 3 will have plenty of new gifts to open on Sunday morning. JD also weeded through his 3T and 4T clothes and made a big bag for the little boy. We made a financial donation, too.
The township of Wayne truly rallied. There was a poinsettia fundraiser where children showed up with piggy bank money and one man handed over $100 for one plant, refusing change. An anonymous donor wrote a check for $4000. The poinsettia sale alone raised $60,000. My mom friends in the Packanack Lake area of Wayne raised a spontaneous $1200 at a meet and greet Santa party. JD’s school collected clothing, toys and gift cards.
Within days of this story breaking, volunteers arrived at the family’s flood-ravaged house to begin work on the damaged property and a local landscaping company showed up to treat the outside. The goal was to have the house ready for Christmas Eve—to comfort these boys on their first Christmas without Mom and Dad. Well Christmas came early—the Voit boys got an enormous welcome home, reports The Wayne Today. Last night they were greeted with TV cameras, Santa Claus, and a crowd of over 100 strong.
Opposite sides of the country and a million-and-one circumstances apart, the Armstrong and Voit families will be OK because of hope. No one can take your hope away.
Happy holidays to all. Be thankful. Give Back. Cheers!
You can help the Voit boys too. Visit OperationHopefortheBoys.com