One thing that we are asked when we do our fundraisers is why we chose Christmas. I wanted to tell you today why.

Lily was the most amazing little girl. Her love for others was something that truly made this world a better place. Growing up I had two parents who loved each other more than anything in the world. They made our childhood magical. Especially Christmas. I can remember the joy that I felt Christmas morning waiting in our bedrooms for Mom and Dad to come get us. That magic was something that I wanted to give to her. I remember on Lily’s first Christmas season going to the stores and buying way too many gifts. She was only 7 months old and I went way overboard but I pictured this perfect first Christmas. Well Christmas came and she fell in love with the first gift that was opened and didn’t want anything to do with the other 15. Her face lit up. This followed the next Christmas too as I saw that joy in her eyes. My favorite was her second Christmas when we were at Christmas mass. Lily decided she would run down the center aisle of the church and shout “Happy birthday Jesus,” until my friend stopped her from running onto the alter. She was the only baby I knew who didn’t scream when sitting upon Santa’s lap. We looked forward to November 1st and called it Christmas music day when 100.3 would start playing Christmas Music on the radio. She was that magic that I dreamed about. On November 19, 2010 we went to Walmart. We did our usual walk down the toy isle to find her a prize. Being obsessed with Toy Story 3 she picked out a Mr. Potato Head. When we left the store there were Marines standing outside manning the Toys for Tots table. Lily went up and placed her Mr. Potato Head in the box. She had the biggest smile on her face as she walked back to me. The Marine shook her hand and I could see that joy in her eyes. She was 2 but her kindness, compassion and giving heart made me more proud that I had ever been in my life.

By doing An Angel Lily Christmas I wanted to give that joy to other children. I wanted to keep Lily’s memory and magic alive. I know most of the kids won’t ever know about Lily or her story but I want them to know that somewhere out there they are loved. I want them to believe in that joy and magic that Lily did. I want Lily to be proud of what is being done in her memory. My world stopped on November 20, 2010. I gave up. I couldn’t function and it was the most horrible thing that I could have went through. Justice for Lily saved me. Along with my family and friends it helped me get through my darkest days. Knowing that others were standing up for children because of Lily’s story and being a voice made the world of a difference. Nothing will ever bring my baby back, but knowing that people will remember her and share her magic helps us get through the hardest part of our year. So thank you all for your support. Thank you to everyone who helps make An Angel Lily Christmas possible. I know that every time a bag is delivered to a foster family, I see Lily’s smiling face and the pride she has for donating in her memory to someone in need. God Bless you all!