Written by Loni Zimmerman
Before I can tell you what The Barkann Healing Hearts Foundation means to me, I must tell you about my life BEFORE the Foundation came into it…
My family members can be counted on one hand, and I had a handful of very close friends. We spend time together as most families and friends do, occasional dinner get-togethers in between working and taking care of our homes. Pretty normal, mundane life…nothing special.
Then one day Mike Barnes came into my life…. He told me of Michael and Ellen Barkann who created a place where I could become involved in meeting people I never would have met before. Not just people… SPECIAL people.
I was introduced to families with very ill children. Children with cancer, heart-tugging stories that no parent should ever have to go through. Families who have lost jobs or who are trying to survive while trying to take take of their sick child.
Families with life-altering circumstances through no fault of their own and needing help but would never ask. A police officer with an un-imaginable tragic story who is overcoming and surviving.
All of these people I now consider my friends, my family.
Michael, Ellen and Mike have a way of finding people in need and we all gather together in support..and love. There is no hesitation, no questions asked. We are all here with the Foundation because we want to help, to heal, to show love and support where it is needed.
And in doing so, we all found each other and love each other. We not only donate our money or our time, but we also have FUN in doing so.
The events planned to raise funds are so much more than fundraising. They are “family” reunions. A way of keeping up with everyone through the year and in turn, making the hard work and efforts of everyone involved mean something special.
My life now is full. Full of love for Michael and Ellen Barkann for having this vision of bringing people together to show support to those in need, and ended up bringing life-long friendships together. Full of love for all the people I have met on this journey… whether it’s the parents or families we supported or the supporters themselves.
And finally..full of THANKS and LOVE to Mike Barnes.. for introducing me into this family and feeling like a part of HIS family. ..and now I can’t imagine my life without all of them.
People really do need people, and The Barkann Healing Hearts Foundation has helped, and healed and I hope will continue on this path of “paying it forward”.
Lives have been changed…. MY life has been changed.
Thank You and I Love You, Michael, Ellen, and Mike!