Family, Friends and Colleagues –
We’re so excited to announce the Rhett Sullivan Foundation, an organization formed to support families experiencing unexpected early child loss, in an effort to enable them to find a way to their new normal. Infant loss occurs in 5-6 of every 1,000 births in Texas alone. That’s over 2,200 tragic deaths each year across our state which are completely unexpected and devastating to those families. The impact of early child loss to our community is impossible to overcome, as these tragedies have a lasting negative impact to families in our region, both financially, and worse, emotionally.
We lost our only son, Rhett Matthew Sullivan, after spending 82 wonderful days as a family of five. Rhett is still our pride and joy. We always dreamed of having a boy and once he joined us, our family felt complete. His sisters, Hudson and Emory, just adored him and treated him as their real life baby doll. They are such great big sisters and we all still talk about the impact Rhett has had on all of us. Once all of that was taken away from us, for no good reason at all, we were absolutely shocked and staggered. It wasn’t until well after the memorial service and burial, that we realized there seemed to be nowhere to turn for support. In fact, turning anywhere for support is about the last thing on your mind.
Our family is very blessed with our support system through family, friends and work. Financially, we were able to withstand the burden of never-ending hospital bills and funeral expenses, and quickly focus on our emotional well-being. We are eternally grateful for the several family members, friends and colleagues who raised funds or donated funds directly to assist us financially, and in the end, over $12,000 was given to help cover the unexpected expenses associated with Rhett’s death. We have decided to apply those funds directly to this initiative, to allow for Rhett to have an impact on many others, for years to come.
With the holidays upon us, we ask everyone to consider others who may be less fortunate, and do what you can to assist the community of families who are struggling with early child loss. This week brings #GivingTuesday, a day we’d like to kick-off our fundraising drive through year-end 2018. You may have heard Facebook and Paypal are matching $7M in donations that day. Our family will personally match all donations received through the end of the year, up to the $12,000 amount we received in our immediate time of loss. Please help us meet our goal of $25,000 raised by year-end. This amount will cover all start-up costs of the organization, and allow us to immediately begin to assist local families who experience loss in 2019. Donations can be made on our website at the link here Make a Donation.
Going forward, we will work directly with funeral directors, funeral homes, hospital networks, social workers, grief counselors and other grief support nonprofits to identify and assist family beneficiaries, both locally and regionally. Please feel free to reach out via our website’s “Contact Us” link with any recommendations or feedback. As we get rolling, we would appreciate any introductions, feedback or volunteer support you are able to offer.
In addition to monetary donations, we would be very appreciative of your thoughts and prayers as we begin this new journey. Founding this organization is part of our grief journey. We are very encouraged about the road ahead and proud of the impact Rhett will have on this world, as he watches us from above.
Rhett’s Mom and Dad
Rhett Sullivan Foundation is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.