JASPER COUNTY — Imagine a rock tossed into still water. The ripple caused from the rock disturbing the surface of the water spreads out in a circular pattern while the splash from the rock causes more small ripples that intersect with the larger circle. Giving back is a concept that has that same type of ripple effect with many positive outcomes. It’s the domino effect with a never-ending set of dominos.
When author, Janeen Swart, wrote her book, LABEL SIDE OUT, she never expected it would become part of the pay it forward movement. She asserts her writing has only been a retired teacher’s hobby, but when her youngest grandchild offered to do some illustrations for the book, it ended up becoming much more meaningful. LABEL SIDE OUT hit the book rack at Valley Pharmacy not long before Christmas, so Janeen asked her grandson for ideas as to how he would like to donate part of the proceeds to some type of charity. Because of an unfortunate burn accident in the family, it was decided to find a charity that would benefit a burn hospital. The Kilee Gives Back Foundation was chosen for their donation.
Kilee Brookbank was a typical sixteen-year-old, thinking about school, soccer, and her friends. But her last ordinary day erupted in an explosion that consumed her house, burning over 45 percent of her body and sending her to the very brink of death. After spending thirty-eight days in Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati, enduring surgeries, skin grafts, perpetual physical therapy, and excruciating pain, Kilee had to discover how to live again. When Kilee returned home, she had to find a new “normal,” relearning how to tie her shoes, put on her makeup, and even turn a doorknob. In each moment of her long journey back to everyday life, she had to make choices that would define who she was and who she would become. One of those choices was clear: Kilee felt compelled to give back to Shriners, the hospital that saved her life, and help support other children and families facing their own challenges. The Kilee Gives Back Foundation was created in 2015 to pay forward the community’s kindness and generosity through events and fundraisers that support Shriners – Cincinnati, Shriners Hospitals for Children/ kileegivesback.org
“Thank you to all who purchased the books at Valley Pharmacy during this past Christmas season,” said Swart. “A donation of three hundred dollars has been given to the Kilee Gives Back Organization in honor of our grandson’s uncle.”