Happy 4- years Hayden's Heart!!

13 November 2016


Fighting the Heart War with Love in 2016

This past October we celebrated FOUR YEARS!!! Four incredibly growing years. It is said it can take 3-5 years for a business to truly find its way and I would definitely agree with that timeline. We held our annual board meeting a couple weeks ago and reliving the past four years- how far we've come- how many families we've helped- I can't begin to explain how proud I am and how thankful I am for all of you who have supported us- who have made Hayden's Heart what it is today.

Our first event was in December of 2012- just about 4 months after Hayden died. My first Christmas without him- which would have been my first with him had he been alive- was looming and I am pretty sure I was able to continue putting one foot in front of the other because I knew we were doing something good in Hayden's name. That first event was held for Weston Keeton- who now celebrates his birthdays and holidays in heaven with Hayden, but at the time he was fighting hard and had been for a while. We raised almost $4,000 at that event and we were thrilled! We gave every cent to the Keeton family and from that moment on, I never looked back.

The first two years were tough- we wanted to give each family as much as we could so we rarely had money left over from events to prepare for the next. The first 5K- and I'm pretty sure the second- we paid for the shirts, the trophies etc with our own money. We paid ourselves back in time, but with the foundation, we were struggling to make ends meet. We had no savings account, we- my husband, sister, and best friends- just kept going and doing-  all desperate to help me keep moving forward- desperate to help me do whatever it took to honor Hayden.

This year we celebrated four years for Hayden's Heart. How far we have come in just a few short years! Looking back at year one and two seems so far away- and sharing memories with board members who have been there since day one is nostalgic- we laugh and cry at the leaps and bounds we've made- all in Haydens name and all because of our dedicated board members and supporters.

Some quick facts on how YOUR support and donations directly impacted the heart community in 2016: 

*We hosted FIVE major events and sent significant monetary donations to FIVE heart warrior families.

* Donated $10K in 'immediate relief' funding to over 10 families throughout the year. This is money we send to heart families who are in immediate need of some financial relief for unexpected reasons- whether it be for hospital stays, medical bills, funeral costs and more.

*  70 Grieving Hearts care packages were mailed out to recently grieving heart families and provided  them with comfort and support amidst their tragedy.

* 180 care packages were gifted to four different pediatric cardiac hospitals in honor and memory of Hayden (60 for his birthday, 60 for his angel day, and 60 for the holidays)

*32 grieving heart mamas healed in unexpected ways together at our 2nd annual 'Healing of the Heart' retreat in August. Priceless.

*SPREADING AWARENESS DAILY for Congenital Heart Defects- through some things as simple as our social media posts, to passing our information cards out to strangers, car washes, delivering Hayden's signature swaddles out to other heart hospitals, and much more.

What's happening in 2017!

*In January, we will be releasing our newest project that will directly affect our bereaved community- Stay tuned for more details on 'Hayden's Holiday' coming soon!

*February will start our CHD AWARENESS Campaign!! Its gonna be FuN-ImPACtfUl- eXCiTiNg-eMbArAsSinG- and we CAN'T WAIT!!!

*We will host 5 major events- each honoring a warrior heart family. More information will be posted on our website but here is a quick glance:
      - Our 5th Annual 5K Birthday Bash for Hayden - SuPerHeRo Style!! March 18th!
      - We will be teaming up with 'Madison Strong' this year for our NJ Golf Tournament -
      happening  early June!
      - PA Golf is set for July 28th- back at White Deer!
      - A kid-family event will be happening in Northern NJ in October!
      - 'Heart to Heart' Gala on November 18th at Herman and Luthers in Pennsylvania!

*We will be extending our care packages to Boston Children's Hospital in 2017- looking forward to starting a partnership with this incredible care center!

* Grieving Hearts will continue to add new gifts for our bereaved parents and siblings. Up first is an emotional, yet inspiring video by Luminous Light Studio and interactive grieving books for siblings.

*Our 3rd 'Healing of the Heart' retreat is set for July 13-16th- information and application packets will be released in January and we anticipate life-altering healing to take place yet again for these bereaved mamas. 

*We will continue to have a budget of $10K in immediate relief funds for our heart families to distribute throughout the year.

There is more in store for 2017 and we can't wait to share it with you! If this list of amazing contributions to the heart community inspires you to want to help in a more direct role with Hayden's Heart, please email - we would be delighted to have you!
If you wish to donate, please visit our CONTRIBUTE page for more information!!

THANK YOU from the depths for all you have done thus far to support us in our mission to honor and remember Hayden through the work we do for our heart community. We look forward to another year of FIGHTING THE HEART WAR WITH LOVE!

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