Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Heart of DMB: Angels for Anna

Angels for Anna is a local organization that I had no idea existed until just one short month ago, and once I became familiar with their mission, and their founders, I knew they were simply like no one else. An organization based solely on being a bright light in a dark world and doing the small things, all because of one little girl. I knew I had to learn more and had to share their mission as September’s Heart of Dayton Moms Blog.
 
Anna was born May 7, 2001, and was soon found to have multiple health complications, as a result of her mother unknowingly being exposed to the Rubella virus during pregnancy, thus affecting Anna in utero. The damage to Anna was irreversible, as she was deaf, blind, had countless surgeries and procedures, and still had a smile and demeanor that was unforgettable. Anna’s heart began to fail in 2011, which led to numerous medication changes and surgeries, which were simply not enough. On September 1, 2011, Anna passed away peacefully, but her sweet smile still lives on today through this organization founded by her parents, Chip and Betsy. 

Delivering parent packs to Dayton Children’s Hospital

 
The mission of Angels for Anna is to “do something nice, for someone else, every day.”  Keeping in mind that ‘something’ can be simply a smile, holding the door open for a stranger, and the list goes on and on.  Their main  fundraising efforts are centered around the production of “Parent Packs.” These packs contain items needed by caregivers when they are faced with an unplanned hospital admission, specifically to a Children’s hospital. Items such as shampoo, soap, conditioner, toothpaste etc are included in these packs, and they are provided for the caregivers. Having had many unplanned admissions of their own with Anna, they know what it is like to realize it is the small things that you forget, and thus those small things that help a parent/caregiver get through a difficult time.  That hot shower before the doctors start to round can be the one “escape” for a caregiver,  and the ability to provide them with basic necessities has shown to truly make a difference in these unexpected moments.  Angels for Anna also has tiny angels made of office clips and ribbon, attached to cards, made for the sole purpose to hand to a friend, to a stranger, or to leave behind on tables and in a store grocery cart. My kids have loved leaving these in random spots, in the hopes to make someone else’s day brighter by this simple gesture.
 
 Angels for Anna Angel and Card
 
What caught my eye was when I heard about the Angels for Anna Night of Giving, which occurs over Labor Day weekend. Angels for Anna utilizes “Ninja Angels” who travel throughout the area (Southwest Ohio, middle Tennessee, southern California) and secretly drop off gifts of homemade ceramic wind chimes to random individuals as well as those who have been identified by someone as needing this small gesture of joy. On this “Night of Giving,” these ceramic beauties are left in mailboxes, trees, or by the front door, all while under the cover of darkness. The purpose of the secretive drop off is to be a light in the dark and thus encourage individuals to do something nice for someone else.  My kiddos and I had a chance to be a part of the ceramic art painting at a local event, and it was marvelous.
 
Pottery painted by volunteers and used in wind chimes delivered during the weekend of Labor Day every year on “The Night of Giving” (Anna went to her heavenly home September 1, 2012).
 
The tangible experience for my kids to paint ceramics (hello, what 5 and 3 yr old would say no to that) all while educating them on why we were doing so, made Angels for Anna THAT organization that I have been searching for. I have been exploring possibilities on how to get my little ones involved in an organization whose mission I believe in, we live by, and one that we can practically and directly be involved in as a family. I believe we have finally found it! Besides the art we painted, other volunteers through the year paint the artwork (there are no rules, think fun colors and designs), which are then fired in a kiln in order to survive all weather types. Angels for Anna holds  “painting parties” throughout the year, in preparation for their Labor Day weekend “Night of Giving” drop off,  and on May 4, 2018, in Centerville, the 6th annual Angels for Anna 5k will take place. Folks are encouraged to run, walk or roll in this 5k, as nothing should hold you back, just like nothing held Anna back! 

The dream for Angels of Anna is to open a facility to provide comprehensive opportunities for life enhancement for all.  Therapy, volunteer opportunities, life skill learning and training, and opportunities for families to meet with an engineer and say “this is what we need,” with the goal being that it can be made into a tangible reality.

To stay up to date with Angels for Anna, to provide names for next years “Night of Giving,” or to explore how you and your family can volunteer and get involved, please note the following ways to connect:

If you are looking for an organization that your entire family can directly become involved with, please, check out Angels for Anna!

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