Take the opportunity to be of service to others

Diane Mack
Family Matters
Diane Mack

It was 45 years ago this coming week that I was lying in a California hospital. 

I was critically ill and in premature labor with Kelsey and twin Kristin. After much testing, doctors reported there were no signs of life with the twins. 

It was Thanksgiving of 1976. 

My wonderful Pennsylvania family lived 2,800 miles away. Mom called me several times a day, which was hard for her, cost-wise. Back in those days, every long-distance phone call cost a fortune. 

Our church friends and neighbors were a tremendous help, especially with our 10-month-old son Jared. Their support and their prayers buoyed us up. 

But no matter how much support I had, the thought of delivering two deceased babies broke my heart. 

However, life has moved on and Kelsey is a young special needs’ woman, full of life, happiness and service. This week, Kelsey will celebrate her 45th birthday. Let’s talk happy, as there are no broken hearts around here. 

Kelsey, in her own little time warp, asked for a cassette player and some Muppets. 

However, let’s step back to one word, which I stated about Kelsey. She personifies service. Kelsey has chosen on many of her birthday years to do service for someone in need. 

She’s collected socks, dollars and books. If Kelsey has met you and you had some injury, she will say, “We need to help them”. 

That is where we are today, at Kelsey’s 45th birthday. Kelsey heard about the Ezzy’s Strong Story. She wants to serve. 

Ezzy’s family is collecting shoes, new or used, as long as they are wearable. They want to make their van accessible. 

Following the shoe collection the shoes are donated to a charity, Funds2Orgs, which distributes the shoes to developing countries, like Haiti.  

At the same time, Funds2Orgs will pay, per pound, to Ezzy for his van modification The charity has already set a date for the truck to pick up the shoes. 


Let me share the story of Ezzy, written by mom Erinn. 

“Our Ezzy is a light to our world. He was born with Hydrocephalus, cortical visual impairments, dysautonomia and a slew of other medical challenges to face.  

“We were originally told that IF he lived, we wouldn't have long with him. Well, our strong willed, loving, silly boy is showing us all how it's done.  

“Because of his many medical challenges he has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy along with other muscular issues causing him to need a wheelchair.  

“This has been no problem until recently. But as he is RAPIDLY growing, so is his wheelchair.  

“He now has a much more sturdy wheelchair that also comes with a MUCH heavier frame. 

“As Ezzy has also been diagnosed with XYY syndrome, he will grow larger, and faster than others, we know. 

“We are working to raise money to buy an accessible vehicle for him or at the very least, pay for a modification on our current vehicle”.  

Kelsey has chosen Ezzy’s shoe collection, as her 45th birthday service. She’s been calling churches to help in the collection.  

One church leader responded, President Dennis Cato from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Cato jumped at the opportunity to serve. On a monthly basis, he blesses our community in remarkable ways. I’ve witnessed his work for some time. 

I’m out of space. Please donate shoes to Ezzy.  

The Sunday drop-off days are Nov. 28 and Dec. 5 between from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The church buildings are at 5609 S. Norfleet in Kansas City, and 705 W. Walnut Avenue in Independence.  

Simply come in the front door and place your shoes in Ezzy’s box. 

Join Kelsey in celebrating her 45th birthday, and donate shoes to Ezzy. 


Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.