To Inform Families First

When emergencies happen

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Generosity

By: Jennifer A. Kelly

Blog Post

Tonight as I pen this post, our fearless leader, Christine Olson, is representing this brave initiative at one of our area's most prestigious charitable fundraisers. Generosity, hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, will line up the brightest and most deserving non-profits in four counties for businesses across the nation to support. Representatives of each charity will have the opportunity to explain and discuss their true passion, the heart and purpose of their being, as they persuade businesses to support them in the coming fiscal year. Business owners beware: you will be enticed, you will be moved, and you will be motivated by the passion and drive emanating from these organizations. As a result, you will support causes that continue to make our communities thrive. Your support and generosity are essential to the livelihood of our community’s heartbeat, and we are counting on you.

Christine began TIFF’s Initiative in 2010 after Christine lost her daughter, Tiffany, in a tragic traffic accident. Christine vowed as far as she was able, no parent would endure what she did: the agony of waiting for hours on end to hear whether or not their child was alive. With the help of State Representative Bill Galvano and others passionate about her cause, Christine compelled the state of Florida to create the first ever emergency-response system that would alert family members immediately of a loved one’s crisis. But the work has only just begun.

Anyone can start a nonprofit, but it takes true grit and determination to see it thrive, to watch a movement be born as means are made available, resources are unlocked and willing laborers are set to work making an idea a reality. None of that can happen without funding. This is where our amazing supporters come in. Christine has huge goals for her initiative, and they are so common sense they might just blow your mind. She hopes to see TIFF’s emergency system active in all 50 states, to have a global presence, and to truly make a difference in life or death decisions for families everywhere. However, without funding, she will find herself stunted and brought to a halt as she sees need but cannot meet those needs. Currently, her hands are tied.

Generosity is one means to provide financial support for TIFF. Another avenue will open up to you, our readership, very soon! On May 3-4, we will be hosting a Giving Challenge of our own! Mark your calendars and prepare to support a life-giving initiative that truly requires so little of anyone, but provides so much for everyone. It takes less than 2 minutes to register or donate, but it can mean the world in a life-or-death situation. Do you have a life-and-death story to share? Has TIFF impacted your life significantly? Share your story on our Facebook page - become part of a community that understands the significance of seconds and minutes during a crisis.

Hearts Out Of Orbit

By: Jennifer A. Kelly

Posted on March 13, 2018
Blog Post

“To have a child is to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.” Not too long after the second of my three daughters was born, I heard this quote. With a toddler and a newborn orbiting my life constantly, I had never heard more truth spoken. I was surrounded by other moms with small children then, too. We were navigating these new waters together and life was blossoming as our little “hearts” scampered all over the playground or each other’s living rooms. Now, with teenagers and almost-teenagers filling my home, this idea has only become more true. “Mom, I have a ride home- I’ll be there after pizza.” They still walk around outside of me, but their orbital paths have widened. My heart doesn’t just dance across the kitchen floor- it rides a bus to a different town for a track meet, or with friends home from softball, or stays at school late for play rehearsal.

So when one of those other moms from my daughters’ childhood lost one of her own children this week, I felt it too. We all did. A piece of her heart is no longer with her. One of the planets fell out of her atmosphere. Blessedly, she and her family were with their daughter as she left this life. They were able to sing to her and pray over her and comfort one another in their grief. While I truly cannot imagine what they went through- are still going through, will continue to go through- I know it must have been a comfort to be with her, to say goodbye.

What kind of horror do we face when our children our taken from us without the chance to say goodbye? This is what led Christine Olson to create TIFF’s Initiative. It was out of her own grief, and a heart to prevent other moms from going through what she did, that she works so faithfully to make a way for moms to know where their children are and for families to be informed immediately when a loved one has been in an accident. Read more about her story here. Share your own story on our Facebook page. What we’ve gone through and what we’ve learned shapes us, but our experiences can also be used for good, to bless others, to help one another heal, to equip us to keep moving.

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