In June 2007, my Dad was visiting the Ukraine with Pastor Jamie Nelder and spent some time visiting the local orphanages. My Dad was one of the most thoughtful and generous people I have ever known, but also a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. He loved quietly helping and sharing with people, and had a huge heart. When the doctor told us that my Dad's heart had been very enlarged, our family smiled and I remember my Mom said, "Well, we always knew he had a big heart!". Pastor Jamie shared some stories of my Dad meeting the children and spoiling them with simple gifts like pistachio nuts. Things that we take forgranted and wouldn't think twice about buying, were such luxuries for these kids and I know my Dad would have loved the opportunity to spread some joy in their lives. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away unexpectedly on his way home from the mission trip.
I love running and am so grateful for the opportunity to run and raise donations for the McJoyful Christmas project and continue to bring some joy to children who don't get to spend time out of the orphanages other than this one magical day each year.