So now it's on to New Year's and I am super excited that one of our friends from our CMH support group will be riding on this year's Donate Life America float in honor and memory of her daughter. I asked her to find Abby's flower that we have placed on the float and be the one to put it in its place for us.
Age 45 ~ Independence, MOSponsored by Cytonet
Business Owner and Executive Director,
Blair's Foster Socks Foundation
in partnership with Midwest Transplant Network
|Michele Shanahan DeMoss knew her daughter Blair didn't have a problem with
teddy bears. Blair's problem was babies' cold, bare feet. Each time a foster
child came into her family's care, Blair asked, "Why do they always have stuffed
animals, but no one can find them socks?" Determined to fix the problem,
11-year-old Blair envisioned Foster Socks, a program to provide socks to foster
and homeless children. Blair's dream was dashed when she was fatally shot by a
nearby Fourth of July reveler, but Foster Socks did not die with Blair, who gave
new life to at least six people as a donor. "She would have gotten this done,
"said Michele. "Now it's up to us."|
Michele Shanahan DeMoss knew her daughter Blair Michaela Shanahan Lane didn't have a problem with teddy bears. Blair's problem was babies with cold, bare feet. Each time a new foster child was given to her family's care, Blair asked the same question: "Why do foster kids always show up with stuffed animals, but no one can find them socks?"
That was Blair: pragmatic, compassionate, and determined to fix the problem. Her solution was Foster Socks, a program dedicated to providing socks to foster and homeless children that she hoped to launch as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project.
While most girls complete their Gold Award projects as juniors or seniors in high school, Blair had a different sense of urgency. Though not yet a sixth grader, she was already filling journals with ideas and project plans for Foster Socks. She couldn't get warm socks to foster and homeless kids soon enough. Sadly, her dream was dashed before it got started.
Celebrating the Fourth of July, 2011, 11-year-old Blair was enjoying the traditional back yard holiday festivities she had since she was two years old at a family home in Kansas City, Mo. Suddenly, Blair collapsed; she had been shot by a holiday reveler firing a gun from nearby.
Hundreds of people visited Blair in the hospital, friends, family, civic leaders, pastors. Michele was stunned at how many people her daughter had touched, and she was touched by their words. "Her friends' parents told me their kids wanted to be like her. And so many people mentioned that Blair knew how to live as a good Christian," said Michele. "Her understanding and devotion to that was not about religion. She went to the church nearly every week, but it was never about the building."
Blair died the next day, July fifth. She never gave socks to homeless children, but as an organ donor, she may have given new life to at least six people between the ages of six and 60. And, if Michele has anything to do with it, Foster Socks will not die with Blair. "Blair radiated the love and presence of God. She would have gotten this done, "said Michele. "Now it's up to us."
Please take the time to read the rest of the float riders' stories and the floragraph stories. Each one is an amazing gift that changed another life.