The Home & Community-Based Early Intervention (HCBEI) program at Siskin Children’s Institute is excited to promote Lexi’s Legacy each holiday season. Lexi's Legacy is a program that assists families who have children with special needs during the holiday season.
The Institute's HCBEI program works with families of infants and toddlers with disabilities and special needs in a multi-county district in southeastern Tennessee. Many of the families who are served by our HCBEI program are not able to provide the items that their children wish for and need. But with a little help from generous volunteers, we are able to change that and make wishes come true.
Each year we solicit help in locating groups that are interested in sponsoring families. Volunteers provide newly purchased items to assist our families, with a few gifts for each child in the home. This also includes buying food or necessary household goods as volunteers are able.
As told by Amy Jenkins, HCBEI Director, Siskin Children's Institute
In 2003, while I was working for Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS), a staff member lost her granddaughter in a tragic accident. Her name was Lexi, and she died from a choking incident while at the babysitter’s. To help with healing and to honor this child’s memory, the staff at TEIS decided to create a sponsorship program for needy families at Christmas and call it Lexi’s Legacy. For six years, the program grew and numerous families received help at Christmas. I had the privilege of organizing it each year and recruited individuals and groups from the community to sponsor families.
I left TEIS in 2009, shortly before the holiday season, and found out that no one had organized Lexi’s Legacy that year. It broke my heart. When I began work at Siskin Children’s Institute in 2010, I contacted TEIS and requested permission to continue the program with the same name but based out of Siskin Children's Institute's HCBEI program. They agreed, as all families who participated were in early intervention. I wanted to continue to honor Lexi’s name and help families at the same time.
In 2012, a staff member at the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics requested more information after seeing an announcement about Lexi’s Legacy that was posted in the Institute's staff newsletter. I noticed her last name was Mayberry— the same name as the staff member with whom I used to work. After a few emails, I discovered that this was Tresly Mayberry, Lexi’s mother. I had never met her before, having only worked with Lexi's grandmother at TEIS. Imagine Tresly's surprise to realize Lexi’s name was still being honored by serving needy families. "I had no idea until this year that Lexi's Legacy still existed," said Tresly. "I was shocked and full of emotion when I found out." Imagine my surprise to realize that after nine years, Tresly and I both ended up employed at Siskin Children’s Institute, working together to ensure that needy families get the help they need during the holiday season. "I couldn't have asked for a better way to keep Lexi's memory alive and help others," said Tresly. "Although the holidays are hard, this can truly bring a smile to my face. To know there are so many families that are given a wonderful Christmas and that my beautiful daughter is honored in the process warms my heart."
It has come full circle. While it may just be a name to many, Lexi was a beautiful child whose memory lives on in so many hearts. When a person agrees to sponsor a family, they are not only helping needy families, they are honoring a child who left us entirely too early. Tresly told me that she appreciates all the hard work that everyone does and that words cannot express how thankful she is to everyone who makes Lexi's Legacy happen each year. At Siskin Children’s Institute, we see firsthand every day how the special needs of a child can greatly impact a family’s financial status. Sharing our blessings with others is how we become stronger, not only as an Institute, but also as a community.
Please help us to continue Lexi's Legacy by helping those less fortunate during the holidays.
Home & Community-Based Early Interventionists work hard every year as elves to make the holidays grand for area families. Pictured above left to right from front: Amy Jenkins, HCBEI Coordinator, Deidra Love, Shandra Jones, Diana Parker, Julie Hill, Ashton Hamner, Carol Lee, Susan Barnett and Beth Oldham. (Jill Hammon not pictured)
To read family stories sponsored by Lexi's Legacy, click here.
BETSY CRAIG FAMILY
WOMEN OF WINDSTONE
MARGARET ROLLINS FAMILY
SANDRA PERRY FAMILY
SHANDRA JONES FAMILY
GATEKEEPERS- DALLAS BAY BAPTIST
LATTIMORE BLACK MORGAN & CAIN
LAUREN AND MATT GOSSETT
NORTHGATE ANIMAL HOSPITAL
CAROL LEE FAMILY
SODDY CHURCH OF CHRIST LADIES
CHICKEN SALAD CHICK
TYNER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
LOFTIS MIDDLE SCHOOL BETA CLUB
SISKIN CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICS
EASTERN STAR- SUNNYSIDE CHAPTER
SPONSOR INFORMATION If you are willing to help Lexi's Legacy in 2017, please contact Wendy Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-648-1704. As the holiday season approaches, you will be forwarded a letter explaining the program and given a wish list with sizes for a chosen family. Sponsors include, but are not limited to: individuals, couples, families, church groups, civic organizations and schools. We welcome all sponsors for the holiday season and appreciate these generous acts of kindness.