Caring Cards: Remembering Jesse’s Journey

In March 2019, the Pay It Forward Project launched a Caring Cards Commission. Elementary students grades 3-5 participated in creating hand-made cards for children hospitalized with a terminally-ill condition.

This was scheduled as a one-time event for each classroom but something wonderful happened in the process. The kids enjoyed the one hour session more than teachers and community TRIBE volunteers anticipated.

It was heartwarming to watch the kids pour their hearts into finding just the right message to write inside their card. Finished cards were dropped into the makeshift postal mailbox but not before each kid proudly showcased their decorative handiwork to the workers and each other.

A sense of community surfaced in the process. There was pride in our accomplishment as ambitions were collectively focused on a joint commission… to let a sick child know they are not forgotten, not alone and someone cares.

We have high hopes that Jesse’s Journey Caring Card Commission will be an annual event for grades 3-5 within the Linden School District (and hopefully, Fenton as well). It also happens to coincide with Reading Literacy Month so it gives great opportunity for the kid’s to write and proof their words.


So, Who is jesse & what was his journey?

Jesse Hourigan was a member of the Fenton/Linden community diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) December 2011. He lost his battle March 2013.

The day I did Caring Cards with Linden El 3rd grade classrooms is the day I meet Jesse’s mom, Ingrid. She had a scrap booking crate for sale and with the generous donations made by the community for this event, the crate seemed a great storage option.

When I arrived for pick up a conversation ensued and I casually mentioned the purpose of my purchase. It was then that Ingrid painfully shared her story about Jesse and how the Caring Cards Commission touched her heart in personal way. Call it what you want, but I call it a God-ordained meeting.

Two days later, Ingrid contacted me:

“For quite some time I have been trying to find a new home for some of my craft things. Then after meeting you, hearing about your nonprofit & our heart, I felt God crossed our paths. The things of this earth are the Lord’s & my hope is to honor Him.”

And so, future  Pay It Forward Caring Cards events will be done in memory of WARRIOR Jesse and the generous donation his family made to our efforts. You can read about Jesse’s journey with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at this link: