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Sheri S.

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ALEXANDRA CHILES FOUNDATION
April 26, 2011

Alexandra Chiles was a member of our neighborhood family. A beautiful girl with sparkling blue eyes and a winsome smile, Alex was diagnosed with leukemia as a young teen. As she battled the disease over many years, much of her time was spent in ICU. To combat boredom, anger, pain and frustration, Alex requested crafting materials. Day after day, she beaded: bracelets, lanyards, anything small and pretty. Then she sent them out to other kids in the hospital - kids she had never met. Friends and strangers loved Alex.

When Alex died, her mother determined to find a way to continue to give the gift of Alex's generosity and hope. Many friends, including myself, offered to help to assemble the small beading kits and to deliver them to our local children's hospital. To work with Anita is to catch her vision and to be astonished by her tireless efforts to satisfy the requests for ACF craft kits. I wish I could do even more.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Listening to the stories of hospitalized kids who found joy in creating small beaded gifts that they could choose to wear or give to someone else. Speaking with hospital personnel who have been present in a children's hospital ICU and have seen firsthand the positive impact that these small kits make in a patient's outlook. One girl facing her third major surgery asked if she could please have 3 kits to complete and leave for friends. These kept her mind busy while she waited. Little gift...Big Benefits!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to enable ACF to expand nationally and be able to provide EVERY seriously ill teenager with the colorful kits that beg to be completed and gifted. ACF needs greater name recognition ... more PR. Increased funds would allow for hiring someone to coordinate the operational flow, so that Anita could dream more and do more public speaking to increase awareness. I would try to insure that ACF be built on a foundation that would keep it functioning into the future as a memorial to Alex and her love.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I've helped with packaging of beading materials into kits that are delivered to teens who are hospitalized with life-threatening illnesses and have helped to organize a fund-raiser in our area.