As we have geared up to make Christmas Magic happen for the kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital College Hill Campus, an amazing thing happened . . . We learned of 30 kids residing at The Marsh Foundation who could use a little Christmas Magic too.
While looking for sponsors for the items needed to make this year a success, I received an email from a ‘stranger’ – a friend of a friend. It simply stated the ER Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital wanted to sponsor the 35 pairs of pajamas or sweats. Anyone who has been with Project Believe since the beginning knows the pajamas are near and dear to my heart. At a minimum, I believe every child deserves their own pajamas and it breaks my heart to see them in hospital issued scrubs and t-shirts unnecessarily.
I was excited to have the pajamas covered for this year. I was even more touched to learn the person behind making it happen was another mother. A mother who is currently in the trenches of what can only be described as the personal hell and devastation created by a very broken mental health system.
I met Allison DiCola Beisner with the intention to just drop off flyers for the ER Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital, and instead spent three hours making a new friend and ally. Her beautiful son, Joey, has been at The Marsh Foundation since January. Theirs is a familiar, but often untold and unbelievable story.
I have spoken with a number of parents, but none as refreshing as Allison. In the midst of the destruction left in the path of mental illness, she has a light that shines around her. She has found a way to balance the very raw emotions of frustration, anger, and sadness with the everyday joys she finds in special moments with Joey, his two brothers, her husband, and her job as a nurse.
As she spoke with excitement about getting the ER Staff on-board to buy pajamas for the Project Believe kids at Cincinnati Children’s, I couldn’t stop thinking about her son Joey and the kids at The Marsh Foundation. All of them are wards of the state. They have nothing and no one. If we don’t reach out, who will?
Allison did not ask for help at The Marsh Foundation, but instead confided she hoped she could get enough pajamas for those kids too. She inspired me to take another leap of faith. After some thought, I reached out to her and promised Project Believe would add the kids at The Marsh Foundation to our Christmas Magic list this year and every year.
With the help of the ER Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital, we will have pajamas for every child at TWO hospitals this year. With your help, the sky is the limit. An updated wish list will be posted later this week so we can get busy making magic happen.
A big thank you goes out to the ER Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital, and to Allison for making this happen. This one is for you Joey . . .