Tuesday, November 9, 2010

project "pay it forward" & how you can help.

blogging has truly been an amazing resource for me as a mom, a writer, an {amateur-point-&-shoot} photographer, & a wife.  i have met so many awesome people through blogging, & have learned a ton from all of you.  if i had a penny for every time i told sam, "well i read on {fill in the blank's} blog that one way to deal with this issue is {fill in the blank}" i'd be a rich little girl.  seriously, what did people do before the interwebz?

the thing with blogging is that it really expands your awareness of what's going on out there.  in mommy-land.  you hear all sorts of good news, bad news, & tragic news.  you get emotionally involved.  when good things happen, you laugh & get excited for these people.  when bad things happen, you sincerely wish them the best of luck.

when something truly, tragically, awful happens, you mourn with them.  and then you ask what you can do to help.

i stumbled upon a blog of the latter sort recently.  meet patrick & ashley sullenger

ashley blogged regularly like the rest of us, posting stories of her & her husband's life, pictures of her little girl preslee & preslee's milestones, & all of the other things that come along with being a new mom & wife.  then one day their lives changed forever.

in july of this year, while patrick & ashley were out on a date, 19 month old preslee fell into a canal & had to be life-flighted to the hospital where she passed away a week later.

preslee jo sullenger
12.17.08 - 7.16.10

you guys, ashley's blog was updated every day preslee was in the hospital.  there were times when things were looking up, & then things took a turn for the worst.  it is absolutely amazing to read the emotions of this family, the love that surrounded this little girl while she fought for her life, & now, the amazing strength that ashley relies upon to get her through each new day.  you can find the story of preslee's fight on the sidebar of their blog.

ashley continues to blog.  her emotions are so raw & honest.  i can honestly not think of anything harder that a person would be faced with in their lifetime & yet she is incredibly optimistic.  she draws upon her faith & knowledge that she will some day see her daughter again in a life after this one & that there is a bigger plan for her than what she can see at this time.  she continually tells herself "i can do hard things" & manages to put one foot in front of the other.  she is so incredibly strong.

and now, as it is drawing near her little girl's second birthday, ashley has been asking herself how she could celebrate the day in a way that will mean something to preslee.  and thus, project "pay it forward" was born.

project "pay it forward" & how you can help

when families are faced with an emergency like preslee's & find themselves in the intensive care unit, they don't often get a chance to pack their bags, grab some snacks, or enjoy the comforts of home.  they are often out-of-towners who spend every waking moment next to their child's bedside, & as ashley wrote on her blog, the last thing she wanted to do was drive to walmart leaving preslee's side.

so, ashley teamed up with chelsea, who also spent some time in the pediatric intensive care unit with her little man kayden, to plan the donation of 44 care baskets containing items like granola bars, fleece blankets, tooth brushes & more to Primary Children's Medical Center.

but after the overwhelming response they received upon announcing the project, they have now upped their goal to 200 baskets.   

that's where you & i come in.  more donations are needed.

ashley & chelsea set up a pay it forward blog at www.presleespresent.blogspot.com to track the progress of the project.  here you will find lists of what is needed, information about how to make donations through pay pal, or where to send your self-made baskets.  i strongly urge you to check out ashley's site & the pay it forward site to see if there is something you might be able to do. 

maybe you can send a donation to the paypal account, maybe you can send a couple toothbrushes.  maybe you can spread the word through your own blog.  just check it out & see if there is something.

check out ashley's blog here.
check out chelsea's blog here. and,

check out the pay it forward blog here.

***images of the sullengers & of preslee were taken from www.patrickandashley.blogspot.com & used with permission of ashley sullenger***


  1. Wow. What a beautiful, heart breaking story. This is truly my biggest fear. Thanks for sharing....I can't wait to see what I can do to help.

  2. I remember reading about that. So tragic. Thanks for sharing about the Pay if Forward. I am going to check it out now.

  3. I just read the whole story! How incredible is that couple. So strong, and so faithful! Such a tragedy, but it's so comforting to know that good things can come from it, and that little girl's story has inspired so many.

  4. i just love you for helping spread the word of this amazing thing they are doing!

  5. I don't even know what to say- seeing pictures of that beautiful little girl and knowing that she's not here any more is just so incredibly terrible. I'm amazed by people's strength and will definitely take part in Pay it Forward. Thanks for passing this along.


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