In June we received a substantial donation from a DECA Advisor in Roanoke Rapids High School honoring Nicholas Edwards.
Unfortunately there was no other information and since school was not in session, we needed to wait until our thank you letter was received and, hopefully, we would receive a note or call so we could learn more.
Finally that day arrived with a voicemail from Emli Edwards and subsequent telephone call whereby she explained that Nicholas was her brother and she developed a fundraiser for the Foundation’s benefit to honor three family members. It was a delightful conversation with a young girl whose story brought me to tears.
Emli was due on September 11, 2001 but arrived seven days earlier. She had two older brothers, Dustin and Nicolas.
In her 17 years, she has experienced the death of her 43 year-old mother in 2014 when Emli was 12, her 20 year-old brother Nicholas in April 2018 when she was 16, and her 26 year-old brother Dustin in January 2019 when she was 17.
In Roanoke Rapids High School in North Carolina, she not only created a successful fundraiser for the Foundation, but she presented an extensive paper to the DECA competition which prepares students for business life and gets them ready for college.
She received a grade of 96%, but the judges got it all wrong. She should have received 100% as her paper and presentation, which she shared with us, was amazing for a 17 year-old. We have no doubt she will excel in life!
She and her boyfriend, Cameron Wilson, worked very hard to develop a “Glow in the Dark Fun Run” and engaged corporate sponsors from the community, even getting the local Roanoke Rapids Theatre to stage their event.
They even connected with the local radio stations, newspaper and social media to get the word out.
Sixty participants enjoyed that evening and $400 was raised for the Foundation.
They held a Memorial Balloon Release to honor the participants loved ones who had died or were killed before the event began. Then the fun began.
We’d also like to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors who helped Emli successfully accomplish her goal. We hope you will support these companies if you are in the Roanoke Rapids, NC area.
It was a delightful surprise when we received a note from Joseph expressing his desire to raise funds for the benefit of grieving children, teens and young adults, who, like himself, knew the most excruciating pain of losing a significant loved one at an early age.
Joseph’s Dad died when he was only 3 and Father’s Day has been especially difficult for he and his sister. Later in life he also experienced the death of his beloved grandfather in a tragic accident – a man whom he looked to as a father. Two devastating losses.
Because Joseph, who is now a New York Law School student, understood the pain of losing a parent so young, he reached out to us to raise funds as he raced in his first marathon on Father’s Day, 2019.
He told us he wanted to raise 2,100 signifying the number of years he has lived without his Dad.
Many of his family and friends have generously donated to Joseph’s challenge.
Update: On Sunday, June 16th, Father’s Day, Joseph successfully ran in the Brooklynite Half Marathon sponsored by CityTri. While he is very sore, he reports, and it was the hardest things he had ever done, he is grateful to all who donated to honor his Dad on that special day.
When his MightyCause challenge originally worked toward a $2,100 goal, he ultimately raised $2,715 for our cause. So fantastic!!!
See the wonderful photos below including those of his family. Thank you Joseph for all your hard work!
We are honored by the Blejski Family’s thoughtful gesture to remember the Foundation for Grieving Children in his obituary.
May he rest peacefully and his family, friends and loved ones be comforted.
F4GC is the first national non-profit public charity designed for the benefit of children, teens, young adults and their families following the death of a loved one regardless how they died or were killed.