Allow me to introduce you to Lulu Bella's latest venture, the Lulu Bella Project, "You are Enough Campaign." At Lulu Bella, the one thing we love more than cute clothes are the people in them. The Lulu Bella Project, as well as Lulu Bella itself, have been inspired by Grandmother Lulu who professed that you can learn more about life and yourself by taking an interest in other peoples' stories, so that is precisely what we are going to do. We want to share stories. Real stories of lives full of joy, heartache, defeat, and triumphs because that is what life is made of. Whatever your story is, we want you to know that YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Our first story is one of love, hope, passion, and advocacy. Kassie Moen, is a courageous woman who, along with her husband, John, fiercely love their 5 children. Here is a glimpse at her amazing story. The day Kassie's youngest, Crew, was born was a day no expectant mother dreams of. Kassie was dealing with her own complications after delivery only to discover that her new baby was turning blue and whisked away for more intensive care. Crew was born with a large hole in his heart which would eventually constitute heart surgery. Kassie faced her worst fear, knowing that there was a possibility that Crew may not survive. Amidst Kassie's outpouring of prayers, pleading for her baby to live, she was then informed that her son had trisomy 21, Down Syndrome. Kassie was overcome with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy to deal with the pressures that lie ahead. "I'm not strong enough, I'm not good enough to take care of this baby," she would tell herself. Little did she know just how enough she truly was. Kassie later found support and a sense of community through the United Angels Foundation which helped her manage her fears and embrace the joy and blessing that little Crew would be for their family. Kassie has learned that through the most bitter trials come the sweetest blessings and what a sweet blessing Crew is!
LB: How long have you been involved with the United Angels Foundation and what inspired you to be a part of it?
Kassie: I have been a part of the United Angels Foundation (UAF) for 3 1/2 years, since the birth of my son, Crew. A friend gave me the director's business card after I had Crew. It was a hard phone call to make for me, but I was feeling overwhelmed and alone with the surprise of his diagnosis of Down syndrome and all of his medical needs (being on oxygen and the need for open heart surgery to repair his heart). I decided to reach out and contact Jill Austin. She came to visit me with another mother of a child with Down syndrome. We were complete strangers when they entered my home and by the time they left I felt like we were close friends. I loved this foundation instantly when I learned that all children with any diagnosis were welcome. As mothers of children with special needs, we all have the same struggles and it felt so nice having a group of moms who could relate to me. The first mom I met with a little one close to my son's age was Brynn. Together, we were able to welcome many new mothers to the foundation. This foundation promotes advocacy for children with special needs showing the community what we CAN do. They offer several programs --
- Angels Among Us -- this is the program that helps to find expectant and new mothers - to educate and support.
- Ride to New Heights -- program helps build confidence in children with special needs as they learn to ride a bike, which is a very difficult skill for our kids.
- I Pads 4 Angels-- Puts Ipads in the hands of special needs children in Utah Classrooms.
- Achievement Center -- It is in the works right now. It will be a place for education post high school, a social center with tutoring programs, etc.
- Educational Seminars -- this is one of my favorite aspects. Usually every other month a specialist is brought in to teach on a certain topic about special needs. They also educate on topics on anything from wills and trusts, to potty training strategies, to speech therapy tips. Their motto is, "To best help the child is to first help train the parent(s)".
- Sub 4 Santa -- Special needs families help four or so families within our foundation who are nominated to receive help for Christmas.
- Family Support Events -- These are just fun activities in the community where we all come together with our families. It may be a pool party or a day at Hee Haw Farms, but just a fun, safe environment to promote inclusion and community awareness.
LB: If you could only tell us ONE thing about yourself what would that be?
Kassie: I am a MOTHER of five beautiful and kind children.
LB: Finish this sentence, "More than anything else I want....."
Kassie: My children and spouse to be HAPPY.
LB: What is the single most significant accomplishment of your life so far?
Kassie: MY FAMILY.
LB: What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
Kassie: I get really overwhelmed in large groups of people.
LB: How can people get involved/support your cause?
Kassie: Donate to support our programs or volunteer at our events. We have even had groups in the past come up with an event to host for the families in the foundation.
LB: It's a Friday night, what are you doing?
Kassie: I'll usually be at one of my sons' baseball games or doing a family movie night at home (so we can all be cozy) with all the kids, homemade popcorn and smoothies.
LB: What's the oldest thing in your closet and why is it still there?
Kassie: A Prom dress from high school. It is still there because my mother made it. You never know, maybe by the time my daughter grows into it, it will be back in style.
LB: Using only 3 words, describe your life.
Kassie: Constant Crazy Circus
We appreciate Kassie sharing her story and the time she took to partner with Lulu Bella to bring awareness to the United Angels Foundation. Lulu Bella is proud to sponsor and support the United Angels Foundation. We are honored to have Kassie and Crew as part of our Lulu Bella family.