A Moline mom is looking for help to bring an Angel of Hope statue to the Quad Cities. The memorial is meant to be a symbol of hope for parents who have experienced the death of a child.
"This is something I really felt strongly about, and I wanted to see it come to reality," said Lisa Rains.
The Angel of Hope is a statue inspired by Richard Paul Evans' novel The Christmas Box. In the bestselling book, a mom mourns the loss of her child at the foot of an angel monument. The fictional story has inspired the creation of more than 120 real Angel of Hope statues around the world.
Since 2012, Rains has worked to build one here in honor of her own children, Kristina and Joseph Ornelis, both of whom passed away in tragic accidents.
"It was hard enough losing one, but then the second one. It was really, really hard to get through. But this project has kept me going, and I think it's found me peace in the long run, making this dream come true," said Rains.
On Friday, August 8, 2014, Rains and the QC Angel of Hope committee will break ground on a memorial garden at Moline Memorial Park Cemetery.
Through grants and donations, the group has already raised nearly $21,000 to build the garden. They still need around $25,000 more, though, to purchase things like a sidewalk, the base of the statue, and the angel itself.
Still, they hope it will become a special place for families to mourn the loss of a child.
"Some of them don't have graves, they don't have stones they can go see. There's people who've moved, and they're away from their stone, or family members who can't go see a loved one who's died. So, it's a place where everybody can gather, and they know they're not alone. They know there's somebody there," said Rains.
Bethany for Children & Families has set up an account for donations to the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden. Memorial bricks that can be engraved are also being sold for $100 and $200.
You can call 309-736-6601 for questions or brick order forms, or make donations to:
Angel of Hope Memorial Garden
c/o Bethany for Children & Families
1830 6th Avenue
Moline, Illinois 61265