ST. LOUIS — Eden’s Army is a nonprofit created by a truly gracious couple in Belleville, Illinois. They lost their newborn daughter about seven years ago. Now their organization is on a mission to make sure their daughter’s legacy lives on by caring for children and families who find themselves in the cardiac intensive care unit.
Eden’s Army started out as Jared and Adrianne Neville wanting to help other people, but they say that the foundation has actually helped to heal them. They lost their newborn daughter 7 years ago after spending about a month in the cardiac intensive care unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital as she battled an infection that attacked her tiny heart. The Neville’s started the foundation Eden’s Army to make sure her spirit and her story live on.
Jared says that he loves to share their story and although it doesn’t end well, that doesn’t mean the whole story has to end. Eden’s story continues through Eden’s Army and by giving back to families who find themselves in the CICU. Adrianne says that when they took Eden to the hospital, they didn’t think they were going to stay so they did not pack a bag. They know how helpful something as small as travel toiletries can be for families in the same situation.
Eden’s Army helps to provide behavioral health specialists for families with children in the CICU. It also funds the Beads of Courage program at Children’s Hospital. Kids earn a bead for everything they endure at the hospital and 750 families are part of the program. About 300,000 beads have been given out so far.
Eden’s Army has raised well over a quarter of a million dollars to help families and children with their exhaustion during their hospital stays. The impact of the organization’s work makes it worthy of that little girl’s name.
Eden’s Army has a virtual 5K coming up on April 25th and you can learn more at edensarmy.com or on Eden’s Army’s Facebook page.
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