Valdosta, GA - November 17, 2012
It is the biggest Birthday Party in town. Elizabeth Pitts would have been 13 years old. But she died in 2010 from Leukemia.
"A lot of people came because they knew Elizabeth or they knew her story. And if they didn't, they'll know it when they leave," said Melanie Pitts, Elizabeth's Mother. "It's very heart warming."
It is called the "Hugs Of Hope" Foundation. It was started by Elizabeth's mother. This is only the second year they have celebrated her birthday like this but they say it is going to be an annual event.
Elizabeth actually started the whole thing herself in 2006 when she was first diagnosed.
"She asked her friends to bring teddy bears instead of birthday gifts. And it continued to grow," Melanie Pitts said. "So every year she got more and more gifts that she would donate back to the hospital for cancer patients."
What started as a small project grew to a full blown foundation. They hold periodic fundraisers. This is the biggest of the year. 100% of the proceeds go to helping families just like Katrina Giltner and her son Samuel.
"It's great to have a foundation that knows what you're going through and can be there for you. Not only financially but emotionally as well," said Katrina Giltner.
As for Melanie, she's so proud the way her daughter continues helping others from beyond the grave.
"It's just an incredible legacy that she gets to pass on and we get to share that with all these people and that's just very heartwarming," Pitts said.
- Get Involved -
You can reach Melanie Pitts with "Hugs Of Hope" by using the following contact information.