I don't even know how the idea of starting a scholarship foundation first entered my head but I like to think it was prompted with a little help from above.
When I designed our family's shirt for Relay last year, I specifically kept it "generic". My thinking was that I would like to use and wear these shirts whenever our family did something for the community so that Austin could be a part of any good we helped provide. After all, it is his spirit and kindness that inspires us each day to keep pushing forward.
The name "Austin's Legacy" just fell on me soon after he passed and instantly and it fit - it was everything I wanted to achieve in remembering him. At only 14, he truly did leave a legacy. He will forever be remembered for his heart and helping hand. It seems only natural that his foundation meant to help others and recognize those who volunteer would share that legacy.
The past few months I've really prayed about what direction to take, asking God to put people in my path to help. (And for Austin to help guide me in choosing the right things to honor him.) I've been amazed at how quickly things are falling together.
I received two phone calls in the same week, with ideas for fundraisers. The first being the Strawberry Festival, wanting to know if the firefighters were planning anything. After our meeting this month, it was decided that we would hold several activities Memorial Day weekend and all the proceeds would go to Austin's Legacy to help start our scholarship foundation. The next was from a friend, who was reading a magazine and said, "Hey, what do we need to raise money for in this county?...." I just sat there speechless for a few minutes. It was like it was just meant to be!
We're at work on both projects now, along with a possibility of a third sometime this summer. Austin would be so proud, especially because the firefighters and others he truly admired are stepping up to help.
I'm working now to form the board who will help lead and direct us, especially in choosing a scholarship winner each year. I'm hoping that those meant to be a part of this will fall into my path with blessings from above.
I'm excited to get this project off the ground and to have a wonderful way to remember my smiling, sweet boy. I hope his legacy continues to inspire and help other youth achieve their dreams.