Flora’s Heart Brings Superhero Fun to Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Flora’s Heart is the Rhode Island Chapter of Emmy’s Heart, a national charity that was originated in Florida by Laura Pita. Pita’s son, Josh, is being treated for Leukemia, and lost his grandmother, Emmy, to cancer during his own battle. Immediately after her passing, Laura and a group of friends created Emmy’s Heart to give children dealing with illness the ability to forget they are sick for a time, spread their wings and fly.
Spreading the love
Touched by their story that she saw on “NBC News with Brian Williams,” Cranston resident Keri Grabiec reached-out to Pita and learned the charity had no chapter in Rhode Island. Earlier this summer, Grabiec established the 501c3 Flora’s Heart—named after her own grandmother—to fill that void.
“Seeing the children’s faces when we gave them their capes and tutus felt amazing; it made all of our hard work pale in comparison with what the children and their families are dealing with,” said Grabiec. “Every one of the pieces we gave out today was created by a team of dedicated volunteers who care deeply about children and want to do their part to help brighten their days during difficult times.”
For the inaugural distribution, Keri and Flora’s Heart volunteers created 36 superhero capes and 32 tutus in every size imaginable for young people. They even made enough to ensure the patients could take some home for their siblings. “It’s important to help the entire family, especially since siblings are affected when their brother or sister is in the hospital,” added Grabiec.
Along with the volunteers who help Grabiec create the capes and tutus, she has a team of four volunteer fundraisers; Cassandra Carlson, Emily Davis, Libby Gaitskill, and Annie Wu. Davis and Wu, two Brown University pre-med students who have coordinated on-campus events to benefit the organization, joined Keri to help with the first distribution. Flora’s Heart hopes to do as many as four distributions annually.
Superhero capes and tutus are available for sale by contacting Keri through the website, with 100 percent of the proceeds directly supporting the charity’s work with children battling illness. Donations may also be made online, and volunteers and craft supplies are always needed. For more information on Flora’s Heart, visit www.FlorasHeart.com or check out their Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FlorasHeart.
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