My name is Zoey Hess, I am currently 12 years old, and the author of the book, “The Birthday of an Angel”. “The Birthday of an Angel” is an inspirational journey of an everlasting relationship and connection I have with my grandfather that lives on forever. My grandfather passed away a few years ago. Losing a loved one is never easy. Most people think of death as a loss, something that causes such heartbreak one would rather not think about it. But my book shares a different perspective showing that your loved one is an angel and will always be with you.
Before the book was even printed and all the pages were still in their draft form, I heard about a local non-profit organization called Bo’s Place. I automatically knew that I wanted to discuss the idea of my book with someone from Bo’s Place because its mission fit so closely with my message. A few weeks later, my mom and I had the amazing opportunity to meet with their Executive Director, Mary Beth Staine. I was so grateful because she gave us a tour and told me all about the organization and how they support grieving children and families. I don’t know how to explain, but as soon as my foot stepped through the door, I fell in love with Bo’s Place. After learning about all of the activities that happen at Bo’s Place, it was clear that they offer any individual who is coping with loss, the tools to help heal hearts. From their support groups to their incredible activities, Bo’s Place can help anyone of any age or any situation when loss has touched their family.
Like “The Birthday of an Angel,” Bo’s Place focuses on how you can have a continuing bond with your loved one who will always remain part of you. After I met with Mary Beth, I felt an automatic connection to Bo’s Place. Ever since that first day, the mission and idea of their organization has had special place in my heart. I immediately knew that I wanted to use “The Birthday of an Angel” to help the families at Bo’s Place.
As soon as my mom told me about the death of my Papa, a beautiful, red cardinal came to my kitchen window. Since then, the cardinal continues to show up in my life at the most important times. When we were leaving Bo’s Place after that first visit, my mom and I walked out and I told my mom that I knew what my mission is and what I want to achieve with my book. Then, I truly couldn’t believe my eyes. A red cardinal was sitting right above my mom’s car. I knew in my heart right then and there how happy and proud Papa was of my connection to such a wonderful organization.
After the release of my book, I did multiple signings and gave a percentage of the sales back to Bo’s Place. I also donated many copies of the book for the families that attend their support groups in hopes that the book could bring some sense of comfort. I have also tried to incorporate and educate the community about Bo’s Place’s mission when I have done radio and television interviews or speaking engagements. Bo’s Place is one of my family’s charities of choice that is extremely special to us. This past summer, I came in at least once a week to volunteer at Bo’s Place. I know that Bo’s Place will always be part of my life. It brings me so much happiness to have my book and my life connected to such a wonderful and meaningful place.