As an initial member of the Board of Directors of Inheritance of Hope I have been privileged to witness the steady growth of our organization as we strive to inspire hope in young families facing the loss of a parent. Supporters of IOH can be assured that their funds are being used with the utmost care, most evident in the fact that the organization is built upon a foundation of volunteers. I have personally volunteered at over ten Legacy Retreats, in both New York City and Orlando. Each time I come away knowing that my life has been touched in the days spent with families from across the country. Often different in backgrounds and religious faiths, these families are united in their efforts to make sense of the challenges they are facing, and to use the time during the Legacy Retreat to form memories that will last a lifetime. One of the most encouraging signs that Inheritance of Hope is having a positive impact on families is the number of people who first encounter our organization as a participant in a Legacy Retreat, and then return as a volunteer to serve other families.
Those of us who work with Inheritance of Hope are pleased that we have now served some 350 families through our Legacy Retreats. At the same time we recognize that there are so many other families who could benefit from our services. We are determined to work even harder to grow the organization, not only through Legacy Retreats but also our Legacy Scholarships, publications, webinars, social media -- in short, as we strive to build ongoing communities of support for families with a terminally ill parent.
Inheritance of Hope was the vision of both Kristen and Deric Milligan. As Kristen realized her cancer was likely fatal, she became concerned for her kids and their future. Deric was attending business school, having served with the Army. Unable to find organizations that could help his family with their struggle, Deric became convinced that he should build a business plan for a non-profit that would help answer the questions gnawing at Kristen's heart. Their collaboration became the vision for Inheritance of Hope, a way to help families deal with the life threatening illness of a parent and create a legacy of love and hope for the children.
My wife and I were very impressed by Kristen's deep faith and Deric's commitment to a vision for helping children with a terminally ill parent. I was privileged to assist in the development of the business plan and serve on their board. SInce then, we have lost Kristen but her legacy continues in her children, in the lives of hundreds of people she touched, and in the excellence of the programs she conceived and helped Deric develop. Her vision will continue to impact families for years to come.
The best credentials for any non-profit is the impact that it has on peoples lives. At Inheritance of Hope events, I see fearful and estranged families drawn together, memories created that will endure for the lifetime of the children, and families in seemingly desperate situations regain their faith and hope. I continue to be impressed and pleased with the lasting impact this organization has on families struggling with the likely loss of a parent.
IOH has already touched so many lives in such a short period of time since it's inception just five years ago.
I have witnessed IOH grow leaps and bounds, and am so happy for what this organization provides to the families of a terminally ill parent. My dear friends, the Milligan's, and the countless volunteers of team IOH provide a wonderful outreach opportuntity for families to interact with other familes, and offer group support by hosting retreats and events paid for and provided by IOH.
What is most powerful to me is bringing these familes together and sharing each others stories, and the encouragement for each other demonstrates a tremendous opportunity for families to want to move forward, and understand the importance of leaving a legacy for their children.
The friendships immediately formed build individual character and added support which is sometimes difficult during such trying times.
~ IOH Board Member