Local moms inspire with ‘Random Acts of Kindness’
Clinton’s Club finds hope and inspiration in even the most difficult circumstances
For a parent there is nothing harder than having a sick child, or even worse losing that child at a young age. Kim Milliken learned this the hard way when one month before her son’s fifth birthday he was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a form a brain cancer. And while her son Clinton lost his battle in January, Kim and close family friend Lori Woodard-Hoyt are making sure that his sweet spirit lives on with Clinton’s Club, a local nonprofit that provides help to other families with sick children as well as raises awareness of the needs of these families. It is for this work that Kim and Lori are being honored as the Darrell Waltrip Hometown Hero for the month of December.
Clinton’s Club was created after Clinton was diagnosed and he and his family got first hand knowledge of how overwhelming even simple everyday tasks can become. Tasks like grocery shopping, getting a hair cut, or even a care giver visiting the doctor are all dangerous outings for a child with a compromised immune system due to cancer treatment.
"Clinton was a bright happy child who loved random acts of kindness”, shared Lori. “His genuine Joy in seeing other's happy and receiving gifts is something I will never forget. I have earned advanced degrees and have traveled the world – yet a tiny nearly 7-year-old boy from Middle Tennessee taught me a lesson about selflessness like no other ever could."
Nancy Baldwin, who nominated Kim and Lori for this award, has been affected personally by the work of Clinton’s Club.
“When we found out our grandchild had cancer, her father heard from Lori and Kim and they immediately gave us advice and different places to turn to for help, since they went through this themselves”, said Baldwin. “This was a great help, and we would of never have learned what to expect when your child has cancer. I know this award will help others as we can never repay what they have done for us. Other than pay it forward.”
Clinton’s Club also hosts events throughout the year including “Random Acts of Kindness” coming up Monday, Dec. 17. For Clinton’s seventh birthday last year, he asked only for others to perform random acts of kindness and then asked each of them to share with him what they did and where. It took Lori and Clinton three days to chart out on a large map all of the acts that spanned from South Africa to cities across the U.S. This year Clinton’s Club is encouraging people to perform a RAOK for someone, in honor of Clinton on his eighth birthday, and then post it to the Clinton's Club Facebook page, so they can see how far CC has reached.
“We have a lot to learn from these kids”, said Lori of her experience with Clinton. “This experience is the hardest and the saddest I’ve known. But when you take parents whose children are dying and in the face of that tragedy they choose happiness.... it is so inspiring.”
As a part of their Darrell Waltrip Hometown Hero award, Clinton’s Club will receive a $500 donation towards their cause.
“Eventually our goal is to build Clinton’s Clubhouse. A place of fellowship where kids with cancer and their families can be with others who have the same experiences”, shared Kim. “Enjoying ‘normal’ activities like creating art, playing, going fishing, sharing a meal and not worrying about cancer for a couple of days.”
In addition to raising awareness, Clinton's Club wants to help these families by providing these services at no cost to the families who are typically already financially struggling, as caring for a sick child is a full time job with no pay.
Clinton's Club would humbly welcome the opportunity to earn your support whether financially or through volunteer opportunities. To become a volunteer, make a donation or find out more about Clinton’s Club, visit www.ClintonsClub.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/clintonsclub.
Darrell Waltrip Automotive’s Hometown Heroes is a monthly event honoring Middle Tennessee residents who have made a positive impact on their community. Nominate your hero at www.darrellwaltrip.com.
About The Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group
Darrell Waltrip Automotive is a premier Honda, Volvo, & Subaru dealership near Nashville in Franklin, Tenn. Specializing in Honda, Volvo, Subaru and used car sales, finance, service, and parts, Darrell Waltrip Automotive provides high quality service to its customers. Located at 1430 Murfreesboro Road in Franklin, Darrell Waltrip Automotive extends its service to nearby areas throughout Middle Tennessee.
Posted on: 12/12/2012