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Another Milestone for Court’s Kids

May 13, 2010

When Lee and I began our initial conversations about Court’s Kids, what it would be, where it would go, what we could do, we had no idea what to expect. We started with a simple idea, what would Courtney want? What would she want to create if given the chance? Courtney just wanted to help kids with special needs, end of story.

Kiki, Courtney & Lee

When we talked to others, gathering advice and thoughts on where to go we kept getting, “Well, you have to set a goal. What do you want to accomplish within the first year?” So we thought about it, I’ve always worked in the environment of setting “SMART” goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. Our overall goal, which ended up in our initial materials helping us to promote the idea of Court’s Kids, was simple:

“Within the first year we hope to build relationships with and support 10-15 schools within the Pacific Northwest.”

Books Being Sorted

We founded Court’s Kids in September 2009, and as of this week we have met our goal. By working closely with the Shadow Project, we have developed an “extra credit” program where kids who need that little extra push to finish the school year strong can earn “bucks” to “buy” Court’s Kids books. We have 7 schools participating in this program. With the 6 we currently work with that makes 13. Along with the extra credit program we have received applications from a really great program in the Phoenix area and the Blue Ridge School in Walla Walla, WA which includes not only the elementary school but also their Pre-K special education program and Head Start.

Court's Kids Special Education Book Supply Program

Hazel Dell Special Education Program - AKA Court's Kids!

That’s 15 schools & programs.

We are 4 months ahead of schedule! And with the books we’ve just presented to our new friends that brings our total book donation up to 6,711 books distributed.

I’ve written a lot lately about taking a step back to look at what you’ve done. Pull yourself back from what you’re buried in and just look at it. This time last year I was a new mom, our son was just over a month old. I was swimming in the sea of “oh my goodness how do I raise another human being??” will I be good enough and can I do this? Courtney had reduced her calls to once a day from the 2-3 times a day in the weeks leading up to Colin’s arrival. I’m not a big person and Colin was a big baby, he was a lot to carry around, and had been teasing us for months.

Lots of Inspiration in a Little Package

Courtney called me all the time to see how I was doing, she was so excited for him to come. She entertained me with the day to day goings on at her job (which she adored) at Klamath Falls ECI. She told me about the kids they worked with and the dreams she had of having her own class. She shared Mommy advice like how babies like to be swaddled and how they also like to cry for what feels like hours for what feels like no reason. She gave me tips, like how she felt Huggies diapers were the best for the money, I still buy Huggies for Colin, I have no idea if they are better or cheaper…it was one piece of advice she gave me so I stick to it regardless. Silly, I’m sure, but its what I have.

Just about six weeks later I found myself sitting in a hospital in Bend, OR, surrounded by our family, watching her slowly, quietly slip away.

If someone had told me that a year later I’d be working closely with our brother Lee to build a foundation in Courtney’s honor and that we would have met and were on our way to exceeding our initial goals I would have not only laughed ,but probably thrown something at them.

But here we are. Through faith, hard work, family, friends, and belief in Courtney’s dreams we have achieved our initial goals. We are helping children with special needs to have the books they need at school and books they need to build their own home libraries. And we’ve only just begun.

I can feel Courtney smiling.

Courtney

Little by Little,

Kiki

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