A month or so ago, Lia invited my daughter for a sleepover at her house in Norwich. In between devouring homemade pumpkin pie Addie had made with homegrown pumpkins, camping on the trampoline outside for the night, the usual girl giggles, and making crafts, they decided to do a fundraiser for the Haven. Lia’s father, Dave, wrote to me by email: “Addie and Lia spontaneously decided to do a fundraiser for the Haven on my front lawn Saturday morning. They made some yarn bracelets, watercolor pictures, and similar items, priced them for around a dollar (or less), and set up a table with a sign saying that all proceeds would be donated to the Haven. Frankly, I saw this as more of a “play” activity and not something that would actually generate interest. Boy, was I wrong… In less than two hours Addie and Lia had received about $48.00 in cash donations! I was floored—and very proud of both of them. Long story short, there’s an envelope for the Haven sitting in your (washed) pie plate on my porch…”
I was told by Addie, after deciding to give away the money they’d make, that Lia suggested the Haven, “because it helps people who need it”. Tears welled up in my eyes. Why? Lia, a fourth grader at Marion Cross School, was diagnosed this summer with a rare condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells. She has not been able to go to school or play with friends regularly because of a compromised immune system; had to undergo regular transfusions over the last few months, and just recently returned from Boston Children’s Hospital where she underwent aggressive inpatient immunosuppression therapy. There is ALL hope that she will make a full recovery with time and more treatment, though it has been an incredibly scary journey for Lia and her family, with no clear answers along the way.
I am constantly amazed at the selfless acts of children. In the midst of Lia’s world turning upside down, she chose to help take care of those in need, and had the BEST time doing it! I have learned from her that in the midst of fear and uncertainty, giving to others can be the best therapy and answer of all!
Thank you Lia, Addie and Dave! – Liz Verney, Director of Development & Communications at the Haven
The Haven Through 40 Years
The Haven will commemorate its four decades of service to the region by releasing 40 stories of people, events, ideas, and services fundamental to our mission. We will be releasing these stories weekly, so check back often.