Despite my nomadic upbringing while my Dad was in Navy and my nomadic adult life in the Air Force, I have been lucky to keep up with life-long friends.  One is my friend Ellen.  We went to 6th through 8th grade together in northern Virginia, and our families were pretty close (Ellen's Dad was my 6th grade teacher) and kept in touch despite the fact that we promptly moved to southern California right after 8th grade graduation.  Now that we are back living in northern Virgina we get the chance to see each other now and then - believe it or not our families now attend the same church.

Ellen is an incredible woman.  The most tragic thing imaginable happened to her in December 1999.  Her 6 month old baby Cole passed away.  How can you recover from that?  Like I said, Ellen and her family are pretty incredible.  In Cole's honor, they started an organization called Cole's Closet.  Here is their mission:

In honor of Cole, and million of other “little heroes” like him, Cole’s Closet is dedicated to reducing the amount of stress hospitalized children and their families face. Each year Cole’s Closet donates numerous items to hospitals that will ensure a more comfortable hospital stay for all children. In addition, we donate thousands of new toys, books, gift cards and care packages to seriously ill children and their families. (click on the logo above to go to their web site and learn more) 

The highlight of their annual fundraising is the Cole's Closet Holiday Celebration - this year's will be their 9th!  A new, unwrapped toy is the only (suggested) price of admission, and it's a fun filled afternoon with a silent auction, a kid's silent auction, great food, and wonderful entertainment.  My brother and I are both donating to the silent auction.  I asked Ellen if she would like to pick something out of my Etsy shop and she enthusiastically agreed.  My brother is currently serving on the USS Cole (how's that for happy coincidence) so he is putting together a basket of Cole themed sportswear.

If you live in the DC area you really should come join the fun!  In the past we have come home with Starbucks goodies, a gift certificate for ice skating, an a 5 foot tall giraffe.  Yes, a giraffe - a toy one, in case you are wondering :-).  We kept getting outbid by a sweet grandmother and then couldn't help ourselves in our enthusiasm to out bid her.

Here are the details so you can come join us:

Sunday, December 12, 2010
12:00 – 4:00 PM
Hilton Hotel
Springfield, VA

Have a great week!


  1. Oh wow, what a story. I have a fundraiser myself in Annapolis that same day or I'd head that way, it's about two hours from me.

  2. Elisabeth, what a great cause and so close. I'll have to see what I'm up to that day. I'd love to stop by. Cole is an angel whose memory is kept alive by many!


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