Blog Post 7: Signs in Paradise

Sorry I haven’t written in a while but my summer flew by and I stayed busy with summer camp and family adventures.  I still can’t believe I never found the time to write. But… now that school is in full swing again, I’m back at my computer and can’t wait to share my adventures with all of you. Recently I traveled to Hawaii where I explored so many beautiful places and went on lots of cool excursions and I want to be sure I always remember them.  I went zip-lining through a rainforest on the big island of Hawaii, kayaking to a waterfall where I actually got to swim IN THE WATERFALL in Kauai, snorkeling in Maui where I saw hundreds of brightly colored tropical fish, and paddle boarding at the beach which gives you a great view of what’s right below your feet.  Through all of this, I didn’t have to wonder too long whether my dad had joined me for these adventures – because he’s an expert at sending me signs. In my letters I share stories of signs that help me know my dad is close by- like when our favorite songs play on the radio or when a bird stops by my window to say hello. But, the signs that were sent to me in Hawaii were just too great not to share with the world. And, just like all of my wonderful Hawaiian adventures, I want to be sure I always remember these magical moments forever. The biggest sign that swam my way was the sea turtle that showed up RIGHT BY MY FEET!! The reason the sea turtle was so important to me is because it reminded me of the book, “Always Remember” that I’ve written about in one of my blogs and which is also an item that I send in my care packages to kids who have lost a parent. The book is about an old sea turtle and how his memory lives on in the minds and hearts of those he has known throughout his life even after he’s passed away. Ever since I found this book, I have slept with a stuffed sea turtle that reminds me of my dad. I even had him with me on this trip. Another crazy sign I saw in Hawaii was the stunning rainbow that showed up as we toured the Napali Coast. It was bigger and brighter than any I had seen before and seemed to last forever. I immediately think of my dad anytime I see a rainbow, but this one was extra special because it appeared in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  The final sign came while we were hiking to a waterfall. It was a little red and white bird - some kind of cardinal (I don't remember the name) but it reminded me of my home, Ohio and also my dad’s football colors. The little bird hung out with us while we ate lunch and I was even able tosneak him a few treats. So, while I wish more than anything that my dad could be there in person to experience all of these beautiful sights, it’s really comforting to know that he was never far.  If you have lost a loved one, and have witnessed similar signs, I'd love to hear your story!

Blog Post 6: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Recently, with the help of my mom, we were able to make Heaven Sent It officially incorporated as a non profit which meant that we could begin accepting donations. That is why I'm writing today. After the newscast aired, we had so many requests, more than I could ever imagine and new emails come in everyday. I knew I needed to ask for help from others so that I could reach as many kids as possible. 

In just a few short weeks, I've received some wonderful donations from family and friends (I'm not going to name all of them because I don't want to forget anyone) ranging from money and gift cards to stickers, pens, journals and other supplies.  I'm sooooo thankful for their thoughtfulness. This stuff goes really fast when you are making five or more care packages a week.

I do want to give a special shout-out to Cece Meng, author of the children's book "Always Remember" who I wrote about in my last blog as well as her publisher, Jill Santopolo at Penguin Random House. They are so great because they have agreed to provide me with copies of "Always Remember" to include in my care packages going forward.  I know this book's message about "keeping memories alive" is going to mean so much to so many.   I'm very excited to share it with the children I write to in the future. 

My mom and I were also able to take a trip to the Silverthorne Target today and purchase all kinds of supplies (see picture).  Thanks to the generosity of the staff there for providing us with a gift card to fund our shopping spree.  And, it was so much fun, because like most girls out there, I LOVE to shop. 

Thanks to all of you, these next packages going out are REALLLY going to make a lot of grieving children smile.  I can't thank you enough.

Lots of love, Sophia

Blog Post 5: "Always Remember" by Cece Meng

I was super excited to stumble across this wonderful story, called “Always Remember” by Cece Meng about legacy and how memories always live on through the people a loved one has touched. Actually, I think it might have been fate that I found this book. I believe that I was supposed to read this book and share it with the children I touch through Heaven Sent It. It Displays my message perfectly, “Keeping Memories Alive”.  The story is about a turtle who passes and who is remembered by all of the other sea creatures for being a good teacher, friend, and explorer who was kind and strong and made the world a better place. It is comforting to know that my dad, much like the turtle lives on in the hearts and minds of his friends and family and not just me.


Blog Post 4: My First After-School Club Meeting

Today was a great day! The sun was shining and thanks to Ms. Winter, I was able to hold my first ever after-school club meeting with my classmates at Summit Cove Elementary.  I was so surprised and thankful that so many of friends and even some kids I had never met before showed up and wanted to help support the effortsof Heaven Sent It.  Everyone that came received a journal so that they can draft their own letters to organizations and to the families we reach out to. 

I couldn't believe how much we were able to get so much accomplished in one short hour.  We selected a name for our group, Heavenly Helpers.  Next we worked together to think of new ideas for getting additional support for Heaven Sent It.  And we tripled the number of packages I normally send in a week, in just one hour!  

I can't wait to see how many children we are able to reach and where my organization goes from here now that we have so many people chipping in to make a difference.  And, I can't lie, I'm pretty excited to spend time with my friends working together for a good cause.  Hopefully, I'll make some new friends as well along the way.

Thanks again to everyone that came to support my cause. It really means the world to me!



Blog Post 3: I'm so thankful

Yesterday was just a normal Saturday filled with skiing for Team Summit until I got in the car and my mom said that we weren't going home. When we arrived to this surprise I curiously asked "Where are we?"  My mom told me that we were at the Silverthorne Police Station. I had no idea why we would be at the police station.

When we went inside we met Theresa, the detective, who showed us around the police station. That was pretty cool, but what happened next was even cooler. Theresa told us to go outside and count the lights on the tree. Little did I know she was just blowing time until the big surprise arrived. A couple of minutes later I heard sirens. I turned around and saw a police car and fire truck pulling in. I still had no clue what was going on!

Then I saw some familiar faces....Sargent Misty Higby and Santa Claus! Santa got out with one sack filled with toys for kids that I will eventually send packages to and another filled with presents for my brother and I. Misty got out of the cop car with a box filled with journals.  The gifts just kept coming.  The fire fighters  brought more boxes filled with journals and memory boxes. I was speechless. What in the world did I do to deserve this? They told me that they wanted to help because they appreciate how I am helping other kids with their loss. And, it's a good thing that I have all of these donations because I just checked my email and I have twenty-three emails since Thursday!  I'm going to be busy!

The best thing of all is that they are dedicating a ten hour shift in honor of my dad to patrol the roads so that what happened to my dad won't happen to others.

Thank you to the Silverthorne police station and fire department for these wonderful donations. Special thanks to Misty Higby for letting me hang out in the cop car. Thanks to Lt. Bell for letting me handcuff him.  And finally, thanks for letting my brother Q-Man turn on the sirens in the fire truck.  We had a total blast and I can't wait to put all these donations to good use.


Blog Post 2: A Short Story

The Great Discoverers

Dedicated to my Dad, my hero and my guardian angel. 

It was just another normal Sunday morning in the mountain town of Dylan, all a buzz with people drinking their morning coffee while getting the paper, walking their dogs and going on runs. 

When all of a sudden, everyone and everything came to a sudden stop. 

Right before their very eyes, what was once an open field perfect for morning runs and dog walking, was replaced by a mountain that towered far above all the others, so high the peak disappeared into the clouds. 

Everyone stared in awh at its magnificence until one person broke the silence by asking “What do you think is at the top? Another person shouted, ‘maybe there is a beautiful meadow or a crystal clear lake’…’I bet you can see all the world from up there’… 

Then my dad, with my family, including myself, following closely behind stepped out from the crowd. He confidently stated that we would climb beyond the clouds to see what we could see. The crowd all applauded. 

Doubts whirled through my head as we packed for the incredible journey ahead….Were we ready? Is it safe? Would we make it? Would we let the whole town down? Then I remembered who was leading us, my dad, and I knew that while it would be tough it would also be ok. 

Early the next morning, we set off on our journey of discovery, step after step, stop after stop, climbing for what seemed like an eternity, until we reached the top. Along the way, 

We saw beautiful things as far as the eye could see. Everywhere we turned, we saw another perfect photo opportunity. We found the crystal clear lake and a beautiful meadow full of wild flowers that the others waiting down below dreamt of. 

We turned the corner and there we found a glorious waterfall with a rainbow shining brightly. Beyond the waterfall was a magnificent purple volcano. The top was better than I had ever imagined. 

Butterflies fluttered about, foxes trotted happily, and moose grazed along the river banks. As the sun was setting, we saw a momma bear and her cubs romping through the fields. If I mentioned them all, you would be here all day. 

We decided to stay awhile. Night was upon us, so we set up camp, sharing stories around the campfire, and recalling the events of the journey. The stars shined brighter than I had ever seen before. 

When we woke in the morning we wanted to continue exploring to be sure we had seen all there was to see. We walked along a peaceful river that flowed down the mountain admiring countless wildlife and birds along the way. 

We realized we would never see it all and we already had so much to share with the folks down below. It was time to go back so my dad led the way guiding us safely down the mountain. 

At the bottom, the crowd applauded once again. They were so excited to hear what was in store for them if/when they made it to the top. We told them of a beauty words could not describe. We confirmed their dreams of the beautiful meadow and the crystal clear lake. We shared stories of the animals and the flowers and the stars from above. 

And it was then that they all knew it was worth the climb.

Blog Post 1: My Story

My name is Sophia Feller and my dad died 3 years ago when I was just 5. My favorite things to do are... soccer, skiing, singing, girls on the run, theatre dance, reading, acting, hiphop, Acro as you can see I love to stay busy. I just moved to a new school I thought that I wouldn't make any friends. Turns out I made lots of great friends by being outgoing and trying to be as nice as I can to everyone. Some of the friends I met were...

- Ashley who I met at school

- Chanel who I met at a concert

- Ella who I met at soccer

- Sadie who I also met at soccer

-and Annabelle who I met at school

One thing that I've learned is that as long as your just yourself your bound to make a friend or two