Saturday, March 26, 2016

Everyone Matters: Sponsoring HEALium Hugs

March 26th has become a special day for me. This is the day I pay tribute to a fellow writer and friend in the blogging community. Her name was Melissa Matters, and she passed away in November of 2015. You might remember my post about her in December, when I participated in Operation Christmas Child in her honor. Melissa ran a popular blog called Wading Through Motherhood, where she talked about her adorable children and shared family advice. Her death was sudden and she is sorely missed by many. So I created a movement called Everyone Matters as a way to honor and remember her. I will blog about it a few times a year, but specifically on her birthday, March 26th. For Everyone Matters, I will choose a cause to focus on as a way to honor her memory. This year I chose HEALium Hugs. Read on to find out more about HEALium Hugs and what they do!

What is Everyone Matters?

Everyone Matters is a campaign to spread something positive. You are important. Your words are important. What you say and share with others matters. We are all connected in this life, whether we realize it or not. Melissa Matters was a prime example of that, since so many bloggers (most she never met personally) have rallied together to share her story and her blog posts, and to support her family and children.

How Can I Participate in Everyone Matters?

Make an effort to do something for someone else, anything positive to help others. If you are a writer or blogger, share your story about what you are doing to spread kindness, and let them know you did it in Melissa's honor. The idea is for this to spread, like a kindness wildfire!

Some ideas for giving back:

*donate to an animal shelter
*help out at a soup kitchen or church function
*donate toys or clothes to the needy
*spread some Random Acts of Kindness
*pick a cause to support, like the one we chose to sponsor this month, HEALium Hugs

I will promote Everyone Matters a few times a year, but particularly on Melissa's birthday, March 26th.

Photo property of Melissa Matters -

Sponsoring HEALium Hugs

Some of you might also remember me talking about my nephew, Joey, who passed away from brain cancer in 2013. He was 3. He was was a silly bundle of energy and joy (I can still picture him in my head, doing his 'Nemo dance'), and his absence has left a hole in our family that will never go away. But rather than focus on the negative, I choose to share my love for him with you. I am including him in Everyone Matters to help spread his love, too. So this month's Everyone Matters campaign is dedicated to both Melissa's memory, and Joey's. 

Joey and his chubby cheeks

HEALium Hugs is an organization started by my friend, Jill. Jill knows first-hand what it's like to battle an illness in your family. Her son is a true warrior by his own right, and is bravely kicking cancer's butt as we speak. Jill knew how much it meant to the kids in the pediatric ward to receive little gifts, and knew how much a colorful balloon could do to brighten their hospital rooms and spirits. So she took it upon herself to spread some joy and bring bunches of mylar balloons to the young warriors. 

That's Jill in the bottom picture, dressed as a bee for the Halloween delivery!

This month, I asked friends and family to contribute to the cause so we could sponsor HEALium Hugs and help Jill pay for the next balloon delivery. I made special tags for the 33 balloons (our delivery occurred on St. Patrick's Day, so I made the tags with an Irish theme), and made sure to dedicate the delivery to Joey and Melissa.

Generous friends donated to the cause, and we quickly raised the money to sponsor Jill's purchase. I am so very grateful to everyone who contributed! It means SO much. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! What you did truly matters, and you helped to spread love and joy to others in this world.

The HEALium Hugs Delivery

I hope Melissa and Joey were there in spirit when Jill delivered this bright and cheerful bunch of balloons to Pediatric Floor 3 at Morristown Memorial Hospital (shout out to the Pediatric Ward! Sending love to you all there!). You can read more about HEALium Hugs on their Facebook page, or email them at

Jill and her March HEALium Hugs delivery to Pediatric Floor 3

So I hope this post helped spread some love, and helped others get to know Melissa Matters and Joey Johnson, two people who were here and made a difference in the lives of others. Long may their light shine in this world!

In memory of Melissa Matters and Joey Johnson xoxox.


  1. What a great idea and beautiful tribute in her honor :) She would love it

  2. Such an amazing cause, and a great tribute. Next month I shall be joining you in some way :)

  3. This is such a beautiful way to honor both Melissa and Joey. XXXOOO