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Adrienne Krock, editor
Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart

Fourth grader Sarah Wells started Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart to help orphans and widows from the 9/11 attacks (photo by Adrienne Krock).
Fourth grader Sarah Wells started Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart to help orphans and widows from the 9/11 attacks (photo by Adrienne Krock).

When tragedy struck on September 11, many individuals felt the need to provide assistance for the victims. For 9-year-old Sarah Wells, her thoughts immediately turned to those children who lost their parents in the attacks, and to their parents, who became widows and widowers. Sarah, however, wanted to do more than just send a monetary donation. She decided she wanted to bring some sunshine back in these families' lives by inviting them to California to relax and enjoy a much-needed vacation.

Sarah's plan started simply enough. Sarah, a fourth-grader at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, began selling lemonade to raise money with a goal of bringing 10 children to California for vacation.

At about the same time, Captain Gary Walsh of Los Angeles County’s Station 57 was also searching for a way to help the families of firefighters and others who lost their lives. Because Capt. Walsh‚s children also attend St. Margaret’s, the school headmaster, Markham Campaigne, suggested that Sarah and Capt. Walsh work together.

Bill Haviluk, president of Legoland California, Sarah Wells and Fire Captain Gary Walsh of the Los Angeles County Fire Department celebrate the opening of Legoland‚s Racers 4-D attraction (photo by Adrienne Krock).
Bill Haviluk, president of Legoland California, Sarah Wells and Fire Captain Gary Walsh of the Los Angeles County Fire Department celebrate the opening of Legoland's Racers 4-D attraction (photo by Adrienne Krock).

Fundraising efforts have expanded far beyond Sarah’s wildest dreams, or her lemonade stand. Today, the “Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart” project has commitments from local theme parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Legoland, and Sea World for admission to their parks. One company even donated surfing lessons.

According to Sandra Barham-Wells, Sarah’s mother, the campaign has been so successful that even hotel needs are being covered. With these commitments, Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart will welcome its first group of 23 families to California next week, with invitations sent to another 400 families on the East Coast.

With attractions and hotels taken care of, however, two major needs still remain: airfare and rental cars. The project is seeking both monetary donations and donations of frequent flier miles to fulfill these needs. For more information about how to make these donations, you can e-mail donations@kidstokidshearttoheart.org, or call toll free at (866) 305-2911.

L.A. County Firefighters brought this fire truck to Legoland, painted the same style as New York City firetrucks and New York City emblem (photo by Adrienne Krock).
L.A. County Firefighters brought this fire truck to Legoland, painted the same style as New York City firetrucks and New York City emblem (photo by Adrienne Krock).

As part of her fundraising efforts, Sarah recently attended the grand opening of Legoland’s new attraction, Racers 4-D. Sarah’s family and Racers 4-D share a connection: Sarah‚s father is Cal Wells III, owner of Precision Preparation, Inc. Sarah and her mother brought one of their NASCAR racing cars to Legoland for the Racers 4-D premiere. Sarah showed remarkable patience as she posed for photographs and shared her project with those who met her.

Sarah and the L.A. County firefighters also sell commemorative pins for $5 each, with $4 from each pin going directly to the project. Pins available at Supercuts locations in L.A., or at the L.A. County Fire Department Headquarters. Bags of 50 or more are available by calling the toll-free number above.


One way individuals can donate to the Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart project is by purchasing a special pin that honors the New York Fire Department.

Last year, MousePlanet celebrated its one-year anniversary, with our Magical Summer Memories project, where readers donated tickets and money to send abused and neglected children on day trips to Disney‚s California Adventure. In honor of our second anniversary coming up in July, we hope you will consider purchasing pins or making donations to the Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart project.

PPI Motorsport displayed this NASCAR racing car at Legoland for the grand opening of Racers 4-D (photo by Adrienne Krock).
PPI Motorsport displayed this NASCAR racing car at Legoland for the grand opening of Racers 4-D (photo by Adrienne Krock).


You can e-mail Adrienne Krock at: AdrienneK@mouseplanet.com

Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart

AUTHOR'S NOTE:

I was charmed when I met Sarah at the Legoland event. Quiet and unassuming, Sarah is a sweet young lady with a good heart and a wish to help others. She showed off the logo for her project to me with pride, and was extremely patient in posing for photographs. Both mother and daughter struck me as very polite, friendly, sincere people who are excited that their mission to help is moving forward.

For more information about Kids to Kids, Heart to Heart, visit their site, or contact

L.A. County Firefighters Honor FDNY
1508 Alexander Court
Brea, CA 92821
(866) 305-2911

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrienne gathered experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job, being Matthew and Spencer's Mom.

Adrienne, Matthew and Spencer visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.

Besides Matthew & Spencer, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The Happiest Potties on Earth website.

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