by Terry Rogers
Since 2014, just five years after her daughter Madison died in a car accident on Route 1 in Milford, Carrie Peterman has spent Madison’s, birthday doing random acts of kindness on Madison’s birthday, March 25. The Peterman family chose to continue the tradition on their daughter’s birthday because one of Maddie’s strongest character traits was a need to be kind to others. This year, the family launched a 501(c)3 foundation called “Maddie’s Mission.”
“The non-profit foundation was created to honor the legacy of Madison as well as her desire and mission to share about Jesus, be it in the mission field or in our local community,” Peterman said. “Our goals for the foundation include an annual scholarship to sponsor a student on a mission trip abroad. Of course, our annual Random Acts of Kindness Day, which allows us to show the love of Jesus throughout the day, with unexpected kind gestures, will be part of the mission. Cheer visits to local hospitals, veteran’s homes and daycares to share the word of Jesus. School Pal Packets for children in need of school supplies. Disaster Relief Backpacks. These are just a few of the things we have on the agenda.”
This year, on Random Acts of Kindness Day, which would have been Madison’s 18th birthday, an Animal Rescue Awareness and Adoption Day will be held at Fur Baby Boutique, Daycare and Spa in downtown Milford. Peterman said that this will be the first official Maddie’s Mission event. From 11 to 2 PM on Sunday, March 25, Doggone Happy Animal Rescue will be on site with rescues that are in need of a forever home, as well as various other vendors, a silent auction and live entertainment.
“As Madison was such a lover of all animals and strived to be a veterinarian when she got older, we thought this would be the perfect way to honor her this year on her birthday,” Peterman said. “What better way to honor Madison than to bring awareness and financial support to a cause that would have been so near and dear to her.”
During the event, Fur Baby will offer 10 percent off all sales as well as a percentage of vendor and t-shirt sales to the animal rescue while 100 percent of the silent auction sales will be donated to the rescue.
“We are happy to play a small part in celebrating Madison’s life and her desire to help others,” Sherry Shupe, owner of Fur Baby said. “We know the foundation will grow to help more children by giving them opportunities to lead our community.”
Peterman knows that Madison would want them to remember “that it is never too young to be Jesus to someone.” She said that Madison would want them to remember her by being kind, compassionate, loving and to give hope, all of which costs nothing.
“Madison was only nine years old when she left,” Peterman said. “The legacy she has left, will, I hope, far outreach my lifetime. She had a smile that would light up a room, and the heart and mind of an old soul. As her mom, I want her legacy to not be about a little girl who lost her life in a tragic accident on April 13, 2009. I want it to be about a little girl who loved Jesus and made a difference for His kingdom. She had a white board in her room that had three words on it – Love, Kindness and Hope. I truly believe that her mission here on Earth was to show love and kindness and give the hope of Jesus. As her mom, I will do everything in my power to make sure the mission is carried on.”
Peterman looks forward to what others choose to do for Random Acts of Kindness Day, as she does every year. A Facebook page has been created for Maddie’s Mission where random acts can be shared.
“It will be a bittersweet day, especially this year with it being the celebration of her 18th birthday,” Peterman said. “At the end of the day this year, if one person’s day was made better, if one person can find hope in Jesus or see Him in our acts; if we can bring just a little awareness to a cause such as Doggone Happy Animal Rescue, then I will be a happy momma.”
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