Kate Smolich found her calling to start the Beanie Love Foundation when she was 13 years old. After a lifetime of battling her own life-altering disease, she wanted to provide encouragement and inspiration to others. The foundation offers these children friendship, prayer, support and hope through giving of time and gift packages. Most importantly, the Beanie Love Foundation serves as a reminder that we are all in this together.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission is to spread hope, joy, and love to children and their families fighting life-altering diseases. We believe small acts of kindness and love can bring light in a dark place. It is our heart to be Jesus' hands reaching out to people through our prayers and Hope Packs.
meet our founder
Kate started Beanie Love Foundation in 2009 at the age of 13 when God gave her a heart and a vision to help other children and teens fighting life-altering diseases like hers. Kate was diagnosed with a rare disease called Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Syndrome at the age of 13. She was also diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency at the age of 19. Through her fight with EDS, Kate has learned that even a small act of kindness during a dark time can bring hope and love.
Kate has never let her life-altering diseases stop her from going after her dreams and living her life to the fullest while appreciating the little blessings in life. Although she has had many setbacks and challenges including having to relearn how to walk again twice, the Lord has given her the strength to keep fighting and incredible joy. She has enjoyed playing adaptive golf even while wheelchair-bound and now plays adaptive golf with a bionic assist device that moves her leg for her. She also loves to be artistic and creative and show others that nothing is impossible with God, and that He can take anyone's story and make it into something beautiful to show His glory. Kate wants others to know that with the help of the Lord, no matter how dark it may get, you can overcome anything, and that there is always a light of hope at the end of the tunnel if you don’t give up.
OUR SERVICES AND hOPE PACKS
Beanie Love Foundation brings hope to children and teens fighting life-altering diseases through Hope Packs, prayer, and friendship. A Hope Pack is a personalized drawstring bag with the child’s name on it, and inside is a devotional, a joke book for children, a personal letter of encouragement written by our founder to the child, access to our uplifting Spotify playlist, and toys and activities chosen specifically for the child based on what he or she likes and is interested in, and sometimes an item for the disease that makes treatments a little nicer. They also receive a beanie if they have cancer or are going through treatment that would cause them to lose their hair. Each Hope Pack is customized, and every item is hand-wrapped to make the child feel special.
To date, we have delivered over 100 Hope Packs to Courageous Warriors, and we hope to deliver 4oo Hope Packs in the next 5 years.
We also do a special set of Hope Packs called A Hope-Filled Christmas for our local children's hospital each year. A Hope-Filled Christmas Package is a magical Christmas bag filled with a Build A Bear full-size bear, a soft Christmas blanket, the movie "Elf" on DVD, a Christmas gel window cling, a Christmas coloring book, Spot it (a matching card game), and a few other small items. Every year many children will spend Christmas in the hospital getting chemo and other treatments. We started A Hope-Filled Christmas Package after I had spent Christmas time one year in the hospital in isolation for most of it, meaning I could not leave my room. So the only Christmas I had was what was brought in from Child-life specialists or my family. We want children and their families who will be spending Christmas in the hospital to be able to experience the magic of Christmas and know that they are loved, and people are thinking of them. You can help make Hope-Filled Christmas Packages possible by shopping our Amazon wishlist, donating money and following us on Instagram for updates on items we need. This year we will be making 40 Hope-Filled Christmas Packages.