We are honored to be a part of the Hance Family Foundation Toy Drive again this year. The Foundation was started in July of 2009 in honor of Emma, Alyson, and Katie Hance. Mr. and Mrs. Hance have been an inspiration to all of us and state:
“We have chosen to focus on how our daughters lived, rather than how they died.”
The community has been touched by the incredible work of the Hance Family Foundation.
Jackie Hance sat with us to speak about the work of the Foundation and how the Foundation plans to expand. We asked her how the idea came about to start the organization;
“After the accident, a lot of kids were going to school talking about what had happened but they didn’t understand. Some of the teachers decided to have informal discussion groups where they would talk about the girls and have the kids ask questions.”
It was decided to break these discussions into smaller groups. At the end of the first session, Mrs. Hance brought snacks.
“The kids were very thankful and happy to see me, so I brought snacks and came to the next session. But at the last session I gave the kids a little gift, a necklace with three hearts and a picture.”
Word spread as the kids went back to school with the necklaces on. Parents asked where they could get the necklaces and sign their kids up for sessions. “It started out informal, but it got bigger and bigger.”
This is how The Beautiful Me program started.
Liz Monroe and Kate Tuffy developed the program. They wrote a 3-book series that reaches children as young as three and as old as college students. The organization also runs programs for parents on “Raising a Beautiful Child”.
We asked Mrs. Hance how the community has gotten involved with the Foundation;
“Oh my gosh – the impact in the beginning from the community was incredible. As more things have happened in our town, people have seen the Foundation as their own. We have so many people that are involved and invested in the cause – they feel like they are a part of it. We depend on volunteers for most of our events and we have a very committed group.”
Keleigh Power, a newly appointed Junior Board Member, was excited to get involved with the Foundation and reached out to local business owners recently to hold a fundraiser. On Saturday November 25th, K. Hunter Boutique and Park Place on Covert Avenue teamed up to hold the “Eat, Drink & Shop for a Cause” event. Portions of the proceeds from each business were donated to the event.
“The event was absolutely incredible. It’s always amazing to see how much support this foundation receives. While standing in the middle of a huge rush of shoppers, my heart was so full knowing each person had come to support a foundation so close to my heart.”