Driven by faith and the strength of community, Sailor Kate Ministries offers comfort to children and families who suffer.
Wendy Lee firmly believes that by helping others, you lift your own spirit. Though always a deeply spiritual person, she learned this lesson tenfold when tragedy struck her family, and they came out the other side feeling blessed by their faith and the strength of their community.
Wendy's 15-month-old daughter, Sailor Kate, died in 2001 when she was run over in the family's driveway. The family's crushing loss was softened by the outpouring of support. Businesses closed for the memorial service; pink ribbons hung all over town. Dozens of teddy bears arrived at their house and were left at Sailor Kate's grave.
"It was a terrible time for our family, but our community offered so much support I couldn't even process all of it at the time," says Wendy, who lives in Helena, GA, a small town in the southern part of the state. "I wanted to do something good with all of those teddy bears people were kind enough to give us."
Wendy donated the stuffed animals to local police to support other children who were involved in accidents and needed comfort. And the Sailor Kate Ministry was born.
Wendy has since donated "too many teddy bears to count" to hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and children in need of comfort across the country and around the world. People continue to donate stuffed animals to Sailor Kate Ministry in the child's memory.
Each teddy bear has a tag reading "A guardian angel sends me to share peace and comfort along with a prayer. I'm yours to keep from this day on, just remember you're never alone. The God of love and peace shall be with you."
The gift prompted Wendy to expand the ministry's offerings to include quilts, created by volunteers and sent to families who face tragedies of their own. More than 50 quilts have been donated to families around the country.
"We wait for one year after a tragedy to give the families a quilt," says Wendy. "From my experience, people need time to grieve, to breathe, and to heal before we can help to lift them up."
The family will continue their ministry for as long as they can, says Wendy, guided by a favorite quote, "Bless and be blessed."
Learn more at sailorkate.com.
About Circle & Shield
Cingo means to surround and secure — to protect. That's what we do. And we have a lot of respect for those who take it upon themselves to make protection a part of what they do, too. That's why we've launched Circle & Shield, our award to a member of the community who helps make the world a better place, a safer place.
Click here to nominate someone for Cingo's Circle & Shield. We'll do the rest.
About Cingo: Cingo provides home protection services throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Douglas, Dublin, Milledgeville, Savannah, Vidalia, Waycross and all points in between. Cingo was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine and listed as a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Learn more at www.cingohome.com.