As yet another anniversary of Gray’s passing has come and gone, we are reminded some grief never goes away. The significance of the loss of such a fine young man and what should have been so many special moments remains deeply profound. We all watched Gray grow up. Summer sailing, pool parties and video games, Norfolk Academy and ODU. Really terrible rap music. We should be watching him still today.
I know we all have our own unique memories of Gray. Some of us were there when his life began, and yet we all were there when it was time to say goodbye. Five years later, this lesson remains - Every child deserves to believe his life is worth living and the journey doesn’t have to end in darkness.
So, we are incredibly grateful CHKD has taken on the enormity of providing children a safe place for help when they need it by expanding their mission to include mental health care for children. Right now, CHKD is building a 60-bed inpatient and outpatient mental health facility which will provide mental health care for thousands of children each year. Today, there is nowhere for these children to receive care close to home. This is long overdue. We have lost too many children, including our dear Gray, to a lack of these services in Hampton Roads.
Now is the time for us to create a brighter future.
To honor Gray's legacy, we hope you'll consider making a gift to CHKD's Lighting the Way Campaign. Your gift will be recognized in "Gray's Garden," an outdoor garden space intended to provide respite for children and their families as they receive care at CHKD's mental health inpatient and outpatient facility.
Our goal is to raise $1 million for CHKD’s Lighting the Way campaign programs. To date, we have surpassed $550,000 in support. Gifts can be made online or you can contact Lauren Kiger, Director of Philanthropy at CHKD, at (757) 837-2189 or Lauren.Kiger@chkd.org to explore multiyear pledges and alternative giving options.