In March 2013 (four months after Emilie died), Alissa and I met with a small group of people in hopes of starting a non-profit organization to honor Emilie. We didn’t know where to start, we didn’t have a clear direction and we definitely felt overwhelmed. All we knew was that we wanted to share Emilie’s love of art with other children. However, the very idea of doing anything in memory of one of our daughters still felt strange and unnatural. As we reminisced about Emilie’s life an image slowly began to appear of what her organization would be about.
That meeting produced what became The Emilie Parker Art Connection. An organization developed to provide opportunities for other children to express themselves through art, much like Emilie did. Art is how Emilie best connected us to her world. That connection is still very much alive and continues to grow.
Recently, in celebration of Emili’s 10th birthday we were able to deliver a large amount of art supplies to the Children’s Healing Art Project, in Portland, Oregon. Madeline and Samantha excitedly opened, organized and packaged all the supplies in preparation for delivery. This donation was only made possible by many of you that connected to Emilie’s story and donated to her charity. Through your generosity hundreds of children and their families will now feel and appreciate the healing power of art.
The image we saw back in 2013 is becoming clearer to me now. Instead of simply honoring Emilie’s life, The Emilie Parker Art Connection has come to realize, perhaps, her potential. Emilie loved art, helping others and making people happy. What better way to remember her than by embracing those attributes and paying it forward.
Thank you, sincerely, for your continued support, which has made this experience and many others possible over the last three years. Thank you for allowing us to stay connected with our daughter and in turn with all of you and connecting you with those we serve.
Robbie, Alissa, Madeline and Samantha Parker