I lead a pretty blessed life. I have two happy, healthy kids who have grown into adults I couldn’t be more proud of. I’m married to the love of my life, and with nearly 24 years under our belts we’re still going strong. I get to spend my days writing and creating. I have so much to be thankful for, so I like to make sure I’m giving something back. In the past I’ve donated proceeds from my Etsy shop to various organizations. There have been families in need within the police department, and when we don’t have that situation I’ve supported charitable organizations for causes I believe in. Today I’d like to introduce you to the I Love U Guys Foundation, tell you a little about what they do, and fill you in on my plan for the next few weeks.
Last June, my husband was part of the command staff at the shooting at Reynolds High School. He’s the lieutenant for the police department of the city the school is located in. Since that incident, he and the chief have spent some time traveling to law enforcement conferences to talk about what happened, knowing that sharing their knowledge and experience is the best way to help other agencies plan and train. At one of those conferences, my husband met John-Michael Keyes.
In 2006, Ellen and John-Michael Keyes’ daughter Emily was held hostage with several other girls by a gunman who entered Platte Canyon High School in Colorado. She was able to send a couple of texts to her parents, including the message “I love u guys. k?”. Emily was ultimately shot and killed by the gunman.
Out of that tragedy, an important and valuable organization was born: The I Love U Guys Foundation. The Keyes’ mission is this, from their website:
The "I Love U Guys" Foundation was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities.
They have developed programs to assist schools, families and law enforcement agencies with organizing response and reunification efforts following a critical incident, which can mean a variety of events. Planning ahead and training are critical, and we need to be doing everything we can to keep our kids safe and know how we’ll deal with it when they are in danger. I Love U Guys provides the framework to do just that, and what I find most amazing is that they offer their downloadable materials at no charge to any organization, public or private.
As you might imagine, from this brief insight into what they do, my husband was moved and impressed. He came home telling me all about them, and has spread the word to everyone he knows in the law enforcement community. When it came time for me to choose an organization to donate to, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be I Love U Guys. Here’s my plan:
From April 13 through May 10, 2015, 50% of every sale in my Etsy shop will be donated to the I Love U Guys Foundation. In addition, 100% of the sale of each pencil coffee cup sleeve will be donated.
The minimum total will be $300, but I’m hoping to exceed that. It’s Mother’s Day and end-of-year teacher gifts season, so it should be hopping! Even if you don’t see anything you’re interested in, I’d love it if you’d help me spread the word to others. You can also donate to the foundation directly.
There is nothing in this world more important than the safety and well-being of our children. Please join me in supporting the important efforts of the I Love U Guys Foundation.