To understand the depth of Jared Heisler's volunteering commitment, you first need to know about his daughter Alysha. Jared says he never volunteered before she was born. But after watching her struggle 4-1/2 years with a congenital heart defect, Jared vowed to never let anyone forget his brave little girl.
"When something gets thrown at you, either you go in a shell or you make a difference."
What a difference Jared is making with his volunteer efforts. He works with the staff at Minneapolis Children's Hospital to better assist families trying to cope with difficult medical circumstances. He leads grief counseling groups for parents who've lost children. He's also a spokesman for the United Way, making hundreds of speeches on behalf of the organization.
Jared, his wife Cheryl, and children Casey and Matt hope the spirit of Alysha will live on at "Aly's House". The project is now in the planning stages. The Heisler's want it to be a refuge for parents whose children are receiving critical care. It's an idea Jared got while sitting with his own daughter in an intensive care unit.
"When you lose somebody, you realize the important things in life."
*Jared has designated $1100 to Camp Heartland