Helping out and giving back always feels good, but especially so during the holidays.
I recently got an amazing email from my friends at Stop and Shop encouraging me to take part in a pay-it-forward challenge to help brighten the lives of the folks in my community. They encouraged me to give back to create a stronger community, just like they’ve been doing for over a hundred years.
This email threw me for a loop because it was full of goodness. All I have to do is choose how I want to pay it forward and start a little chain of neighborhood love. Easy.
His mom, whom I went to high school with, sent me a little Facebook message just after she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child. The excitement in her message was clear. We reconnected through my blog and Facebook and I was so excited to hear about her pregnancy and her beautiful family. I told her not to worry, having a fourth would be just like having your 3rd. “It’ll just be a little bit crazier than three.”
She quickly found out that she was having her first boy – such exciting news, but his heart wasn’t looking healthy during her scans. Her fourth would be born with many heart defects. DORV, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and hetertaxy, to name a few. To say it’d be a long road ahead is an understatement. Her journey with her fourth would be so much more than crazy.
I followed Mikey’s story from day one. He’s really the most adorable little baby I’ve ever laid eyes on. With each Facebook post, he took me in – hook, line and sinker. He’d melt anyone’s heart.
This is Mikey.
His poor little heart got the help it needed in October.
Nothing about it would be easy. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I prayed for Mikey every chance I got. The amount of times this little guy had to go back and forth to Children’s just for his pre-surgery stuff was scary and exhausting.
Sleepless nights, all the worry. In and out of surgery after surgery to fix things that weren’t right the first time. This kid is the most amazing little miracle. Watching his family go through this was nothing short of gut-wrenching. Any parent knows what a nightmare this is.
He’s a superhero because this is Mikey today:
God Bless this little guy each and every day. I am so happy that he’s out of the woods, strong and healthy – but especially – HOME with his family for the holidays. I love this kid. I need a playdate. And I love how Facebook brought us together.
Feel like helping Mikey too? Check out his GoFundMe Page here. Any little bit will help with his astronomical medical bills. Mikey’s family has been through more than enough. Mikey will forever be a superhero.
Looking to help out in your community? You can help the same awesome hunger relief programs that Stop and Shop donates to. In 2015 alone, Stop and Shop has donated over $12 million and $300,000 holiday meals to those in need.
Since I learned about how Stop and Shop gives back, it made me remember the importance of random acts of kindness and love. We can all turn neighbors into friends and friends into better communities. Let’s keep it going.
Will you be paying it forward this holiday season? Leave a comment below to let us know how! And don’t forget to wish Mikey the super hero a very Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas Mikey!
Disclosure: Stop and Shop is awesome. Thank you for letting me choose Mikey.