I know it's been a while since I've blogged, but this is so worth it. I promise.
A few weeks ago, I reached out to my community to help a young 4 year old girl named Marley. Her father, Dylan, was killed in a motorcycle crash in DeBary on 12/1. An 80 year old turned on a yellow flashing light and hit and killed 25 year old Dylan Bryan who had a green light. He was set to get married and his fiancee just had a baby boy in November of this year. Marley's mom who is also engaged, just had a baby girl this past father's day. 3 young kids in the crossfires of this terrible tragedy- is 3 too many. When I heard the news, I was devastated. I didn't know Dylan personally, but I did know his daughter Marley and her mother, Felicia. Felicia and I worked together and instantly became friends. Their daughter Marley is probably the prettiest, most well behaved, respectful child I have ever met. and I know that is due to both her parents raising her correctly, so obviously Dylan was a great father.
I made a post on the "I love Winter Springs FL" Facebook and my inbox was filled with people wanting to help, so many I could hardly keep track. Needless to say, Winter Springs is a generous community in which I am blessed to be a part of. I spent many nights driving around from house to house to pick up toys and clothes that people wanted to donate. SOOOO many people to thank, and I'm sure I'll miss some, but if you helped, THANK YOU! And not only people from Winter Springs helped. I met people in oviedo, debary, deltona and some people even sent me amazon packages anonymously. If you were ever in doubt that good people still exist, i hope this post reassures you.
In addition to losing her dad right before the holidays, Marley turned 5 on 12/23/18. Her family arranged a surprise party at her favorite place to go with her daddy, Chuck E Cheese. (Did you know the E stands for entertainment?!?!! Me neither lol) in hopes of continuing life as normally as possible, her Mom tried to keep things humble as they have always been. I know if she could personally thank each and every one of you, she would. Their whole family would.
Here is something she wanted me to pass on:
I just wanted to take the time to say thank you so much to everyone who made it a point to try and give Marley the best Christmas. Even under the circumstances, Marley had the biggest smile on her face starting on her birthday, all the way through Christmas. She went to sleep feeling loved, and appreciated, as did I. Thank you doesn't even begin to cover it. You guys are beyond awesome, and we are so grateful for you. Happy Holidays everyone!
Below are some photos between Marley's Birthday and Christmas so you can see the smile you've given a grieving little girl this year. If you don't see your gift, I can assure you, it's there! There wasn't a lot of time and many gifts were opened at home.
The pictures are mainly of Marley, but so many people helped give some Christmas spirit to both of Marley's siblings, Lily and Sebastian.
Again, If you helped, even a little bit, Thank you so much. I hope you had a Merry Christmas!
If you would like to still help, the family is still in financial need. Since Marley's mom works full time and has lost half of her income for Marley, they need support keeping her in school. Please reach out to me and I would be happy to give you some information.
Special thanks to these businesses who donated:
Alejandro from Stefano's Trattoria who provided lunch for them on Christmas eve
Grace Elliot of By His Grace who does calligraphy. She made and donated the Letter from Santa.
Amanda from Dough Dough Cookie Company who donated the cookie decorating set
Tomasino's on red bug for donating a gift card
Jill & Tara with Legends Winter Springs for letting me borrow their business center to have this.
Shelly from Pugs & Pearls for donating an entire jewelry making kit
Luna Belle PR (all the way from puerto rico!) for making Marley 4 custom hair bows
and soooooooooooooo many more!!!! I would honestly be up all night listing everyone who helped. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
To see more photos, you can click on the links below: