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On June 17 something wonderful happened – Gifts From The Heart For Down Syndrome granted a unique wish. I was fortunate and honored to have documented this heartwarming event.
Dylan Kuehl requested to meet the Jackson Family – yes, musical royalty. Jermaine Jackson and his mother, Katherine Jackson, jumped in graciously to make this wish come true.
Jermaine could have devoted 30 minutes for the meet and greet, but his generous heart turned this wish into an afternoon filled with fun, music, dancing and the regaling of childhood stories.
The Jacksons opened their family home, shared tears of joy and many, many hugs. The next day Jermaine posted on his Twitter account the following:
“I spent yesterday with this remarkable man, Dylan Kuehl. Such an inspiring person! I showed him Hayvenhurst and then went to visit my mother Katherine. He showed us his art, homemade jewelry…and dance moves! Take a bow, Dylan – you touched our hearts, showing us the healing power of music and the might of the human spirit.”
From start to finish, the day Dylan had with Jermaine and his family was magical. A special thank you to Steve, Sherry, T.J, and Michael P. – without them, this would not have been possible.
It is difficult to pin down what my favorite part of the day was, but I can tell you that being in the “Memory Room” at Hayvenhurst was one of them. I want to give a personal thank you to both Jermaine and his mother Katherine for their warm hearts and hugs.
Gifts From The Heart For Downs is a 501(c) 3 non-profit tax-exempt organization that works to bring wishes to life for people with Down syndrome. From its humble beginning as one person’s daydream, to its infancy as a one-woman labor of love, Gifts from the Heart for Downs continues to grow.
After adopting two children with Down syndrome, founder Kim Adams found herself accepting the greater challenge of making dreams come true for other people with Down syndrome.
The number of wishes that have been granted to in the last six years is 134. Adams and Gifts From The Heart For Downs work tirelessly to not only grant wishes, but to make sure that every detail is secured.
To quote Adams, “It’s been harder than I thought and far more rewarding. From arranging a meeting with Reba McEntire to setting up a limo-delivered birthday event, to granting a need such as an iPad to help with communication, it’s been one person and a phone.”
Adams’ generous heart has also influenced her 17-year-old daughter Judy to start her own fundraiser, which she calls Dimes For Downs. All dimes collected are then in turn donated to Gifts From The Heart For Downs to help others like herself, who have Down syndrome to be able to get their wish or need granted.
The introduction on her Facebook page reads: “My name is Judy, I am now 17 but started collecting dimes when I was 12 to help grant wishes and needs to children and adults with Down syndrome.”
So far, Judy has been able to collect 473,431 dimes in the last 5½ years.
Honestly, I don’t know how Kim Adams does all this, but she’s an angel.
I encourage you to visit http://www.giftsfromtheheartfordowns.org
You will be nothing but inspired by Kim and her daughter Judy’s devotion to helping others.
If anyone out there is interested in helping to grant a wish, or getting more information on how you can help Judy with Dimes for Downs, contact them at Kim@giftsfromtheheartfordowns.org or leave your contact information on my website: Photographybybailey.com