To Our Heart of Gold Community & Supporters,

It’s so difficult for me to just say “thank you”, because those two words just don’t seem like enough to express the level of gratitude we feel. The Heart of Gold and its legacy gives us all the feeling that we ARE going to be okay, because daily we wake to the reality that our Amy is gone. She defined our world and now we look for a new definition everyday.

The Heart of Gold reminds us that we are not doing this on our own, and honestly, I don’t know how any family could do this without emotional, spiritual and financial support. Every night since Amy’s death, we’ve prayed and thanked God for the blessing that you each are in our lives. And we truly feel, as we’re praying, that the gift of this community is what God has given us to help us survive this.

So many times this past year, during moments of sadness, desperation, darkness and loneliness, someone has reached out to lend a hand, sent encouragement, called to take the kids somewhere fun, made a meal, or just offered to be there for us. All of this generosity confirms for us that God is at work through all of you.

The generosity of the Heart of Gold Community and the proceeds from the #heartandhustle Dodgeball Tournament have given us the ability to provide what is needed for the kids. For instance, we have strived since day one to keep activities and school as consistent as possible for the kids. While attempting to do so, we are driving a lot of miles and using a lot of gas. Also, when the 15-year-old furnace went out in the middle of December, we were able to purchase a new unit to insure the kids were not without heat. And sadly, when Amy’s little dog, Brooklyn, became seriously ill at Christmas time, we were able to provide all the medical care possible in an attempt to prevent the kids from suffering another loss. This has been made possible by the generosity of all of you.

Many of you may be unaware of the legal battles we have also had to endure since that tragic day. Typically, being granted custody is not so difficult, but the family of the person who chose to commit the senseless act that took Amy from us, attempted to challenge our pursuit of custody. This prolonged the court process for several months while increasing our legal fees. And then they chose to drop the contested pursuit, after dragging it out for months, on the morning of the second court hearing. Our Legal fees have been astronomical, and this was also very hard on the kids who were forced by this process to become involved. The Crime Victims Compensation of ten therapy sessions were completed quickly, and we have had to continue therapy for our family. Having the Heart of Gold supporting and encouraging us, has been the only way we could get through this.

Currently, the kids are healthy and happy, but continue to be challenged everyday in so many different areas. Sleep is hard to come by around here as it is in most households with three children. However, many of our sleep struggles involve nightmares due to multiple fears and trust issues brought on by the trauma they have experienced. Daily we struggle to deal with an array of feelings, from anger to sadness to anxiety and everything in between. We work

to learn how to identify and communicate feelings in a way that helps us be healthy and maneuver through situations. We never could’ve imagined this happening, but we continue to do our best to heal, to lean on God, and to pray that you will all continue to walk alongside us, supporting us. We are forever grateful...always.

With love and gratitude,
Lynda, Ben, Jayden, Braylen & Trinity