By Danielle Smith
Reprinted with permission from MomItForward.com. Original post date: April 21, 2009
Less than 2 weeks ago, something terrible happened.
A mother and father took their little girl to the hospital.
Sweet Madeline Alice Spohr never came home again.
Maddie lived 17 beautiful, amazing months.In that time, she touched lives and brightened the world of everyone who met her.
News of her passing rippled across the Blog World.Friends and family of Maddie's parents, Heather and Mike Spohr, reached out to help.
Something happened.One person shared the story of Maddie with another, and then that person passed on the light of this little girl - until hundreds of people were wringing their hands in their own homes across the country—feeling helpless, wondering what they could do to ease the pain of this family they didn't even know.
Strangers sat at their computers late at night, reading post after post about the beauty of this little girl, about the tragedy of her loss, and sharing their need to help. Crying was the norm.
Heather's close friend became the source for information. AMomTwoBoys was where you could go for all things Maddie. You could find:
·Links to all the amazing tributes to this little girl (close to 500 of them)
·Learn about how to donate to the March of Dimes in Maddie's honor. In less than 2 weeks, more than $31,000 has been raised. I understand 90% of that has been in increments of less than $25 or less.
·She even sent you to the websites that had the links for buttons to help the family—neither Heather or Mike are working right now and clearly, expenses are overwhelming.
And that love for Heather, Mike and Maddie continues to spread.
If you want to join a March of Dimes team and walk for Maddie in your home town, SarcasticMom has you covered.There are more than 50 teams nationwide set up in her honor.You can even buy a T-shirt, designed by Heather Durdill.
If you want to know who took the 'purple' to heart - SarcasticMom tackled that too. From purple toenails, to hairbows, to t-shirts—Maddie was honored everywhere.The day of her Memorial Service, April 14th, purple balloons were released.As I strolled around the Midwest, I was tempted to ask everyone I saw that day if the purple they were wearing was for Maddie.
And because friends often know just what someone needs—the entire front page of Blog Nosh Magazine has dedicated their entire front page to Maddie and another special group has created bracelets that symbolize the beauty of Maddie—while helping to raise money to offset expenses for her family.
I bought one.I should have it soon.
I will wear it everyday.
Not because I knew Heather.Not because I ever met Maddie.
But because I care.Because I can't imagine the pain.Because I would want to know that people won't forget the angel I lost.
If you want to know how you can still help, never fear, there are moms 'momming-it-forward' as we speak - and they have the answers.
Pictures are from Maddie's mom, Heather's website.