Inaugural If They Had a Voice Celebration
I headed to North Carolina on July 19th to host the Inaugural If They Had a Voice Celebration Event on July 21st with Celebrate the Military Child. As a military wife with a deployed husband I support causes near and dear to me like Celebrate the Military Child. Celebrate the Military Child was started in memory of my friend SFC Jared C. Monti. This event would be special, because Jared’s niece would be in attendance. This meant that the event had to be the best event yet and that I was going to be pushed for time.
Most of the stuff was shipped to North Carolina prior to my arrival so that I would just able to set it up once I arrived. I started praying quickly the night before the event because I was convinced there was absolutely NO way I was going to get everything set up. It was me and my mom cutting, gluing, pasting, stuffing, etc for several hours. Keep in mind I still had to drive an hour and a half from Cary, North Carolina to Winston-Salem, North Carolina after I’m done setting up. God was watching out for me clearly.
Mormon Angels I tell you!
Two Mormon sisters knocked on my mom’s door asking if there was anyway they could help? UM, HELLO, YES! Answer to a prayer, literally, pun intended. We all know Mormons are crafty. Ok, if you didn’t know this, you do now. They helped me use double-sided sticky tape like professionals. Hostess with the Mostess designed our printables for the event. One of the Mormon sisters coincidentally enough has a sister with Down syndrome in her village. Talk about coincidences. If They Had a Voice seeks to educate people about the gifts of Down syndrome and for parents out there everywhere to have a resource to turn to instead of the much more negative message that is told to parents when they learn that their child will have Trisomy 21. They helped me get the stuff set up.
As a military brat and wife it’s always hard to travel across the country, 3,500 plus miles away when you don’t know who will be able to assist you. However, knowing that I’m a military brat I knew someone would step up. A fellow military brat, Carmin, master decorator at C.C.’s Sweet Treats in Walnut Cove, North Carolina stepped in to help me set up. She made the lovely cake, cupcakes, and cookies for the event. She also ended up making the tea sandwiches and cutting the fruit just so. She’s a genius. One thing you’ll learn while associated with the military is that we always stick together, and we’ll be friends forever. It doesn’t matter how far you go, your friends will always be there.
Carmin put her teenage son to work helping me, her mom came in and Jack & Jana Barr went to work helping me set up the event and it turned out lovely. I don’t know why I had any doubts that it would turn out lovely, perhaps because I didn’t have my team and I was missing Frances. As you can see it looked great.
Every person in attendance had a great time and learned more about the #IfTheyHadaVoice Movement and Celebrate the Military Child. I can’t thank each of you that helped me enough.
As you can see from the above photographs these children with military connections had a wonderful time. A child with Down syndrome can do the same things that other children do. They won’t sit still for photos, they have personalities, and they let you know what they think. These children are amazing children that should be recognized as such. When you can support people in the military don’t hesitate to do so.