This brave little girl started a nonprofit to help other kids cope with loss.
Three years ago, 9-year-old Sophia Feller suffered an unthinkable tragedy. Her father, Nicolas, was killed while putting reflectors down on a Tennessee highway, after a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel. According to Today, Feller has journaled and written down fond memories of her father since he died. It was during one of these journaling sessions that she got the idea for a brilliant venture.
On the third anniversary of her dad’s death this fall, Sophia launched a nonprofit called Heaven Sent It, where she puts together care packages for other kids like her who are coping with the death of a loved one. The packages can be requested online, and each one includes a handwritten letter from Sophia, a journal, a memory box, a necklace, and a picture frame.
Feller tells Today that putting the packages together makes her feel happy because “it helps me think about my dad while getting to help others.” She adds, “I just want them [the other kids] to smile and not be sad for a long time like I was.” So far, she’s already sent care packages to 20 grieving kids and says she’s gotten requests for at least 23 more.
So far, Feller’s mom has been funding most of the project. To raise money, Feller has also been writing letters to other organizations that work with grieving kids. Today reports she even got some help from the local police precinct, who presented her with packages full of donated journals, pens, and memory boxes over the weekend. They also gave her a gift card to purchase more supplies, and are working a 10-hour shift in her dad’s honor.
Coping with loss and grief as an adult is difficult enough. I can’t imagine having to do it as a young child, or how it feels to lose a parent in such an abrupt and tragic way. Feller’s dedication to her dad’s memory is heartwarming, and her ability to channel her emotions into a way to help others is nothing short of inspiring.
When you’re grieving, more than anything you just want someone to honor your sadness, listen to you, and try to understand. In putting together these little care packages, Sophia is doing that for kids, even from afar. She’s giving them a place to open up and giving them space to to feel their grief, rather than having to brush it aside and put on a brave face. It’s an inspiring effort, and one that will no doubt help thousands of kids as her project expands.