My name is Katie Haynes, I am 21 years old and I am from Youngsville, North Carolina. I am a sophomore at Southern New Hampshire University Online. I am going to school to become a professional photographer and then to go on and work for Disney World or Nascar. I have many chronic illnesses that include POTS, EDS Type 3, MCAS and CRPS and many more. It has always been a big mission my whole life, even before getting sick, to make an impact on people’s lives. I am making this mission come alive by doing toy drives, smile packages, awareness videos and sending VOGMASK® to people. I have done toy drives and smile bags and many other projects across NC,VA and Ohio at many hospitals and RDMH! Making an impact on others lives is what I love to do and I believe that this mission will continue to grow and continue to help many others in the future!
I love being able to bring joy to kids and teens faces while making them feel at ease while they face big obstacles in their lives whether that be during chemotherapy treatment, a transplant surgery, or some other health challenges. I have done all of these types of things for about 7 years now and really enjoy giving back. In December of 2015 I launched a project where I send smile packages and mask to people fighting chronic illness. I also created a Facebook and Instagram page to help grow my project in January of 2017 (Smiling While Sending Hope). In August of 2018, I started sending sensory packages as well, for people with special needs. I was honored in 2019 as the Me Fine Foundation “Hero For Life” recipient.
There are also teens in the area and at the hospitals I meet and give them packages and/or mask. This is my long-term goal, to grow and make what I do bigger each year. I find people’s stories that speak to me and post on groups I’m part of to be able to send mask packages to as many people as possible. Due to cost and me trying to meet each of the warriors I like to keep it local for my packages at least!
I was inspired to start this and to get involved about 7 years ago when Paxton, a little boy at my church, passed away. Not long after his passing, I helped with a toy drive called "Presents for Paxton" for UNC Hospital.
My goal with this project is to bring smiles to people’s faces and to help spread awareness of many illnesses and diseases. To not focus on the illness but to shine light and show others that do not have them not to judge others that may have one. They can do everything you can do, they may just have to learn to adapt in certain ways.
2020 despite a pandemic is was still quite an amazing and VERY successful year. I am very thankful for each and everyone of you for making it such an amazing year! I cant wait to see where 2021 leads me!
Here is my 2020 Year In Review:
200 Care Packages Mailed out
50 Sensory Packges Mailed
25 SWSH Hospital/House visits
15 News Interviews (Newspaper,Magzine,Local News)
UVA Children's Hospital/RMH of Charlottesville,VA project
Hospital/RMH Donation Drop Offs
Drive By Parade for Durham Assisted Living
A VERY Successful Toy Drive!!!
COVID 19 Frontline Worker Project!
Thank you for reading about my projects, what I do, and how I started!
Project Facebook Page:
Amazon Wish List:
- Umberto DeNicolais
- David Denicolais
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