Madison, Elliot and Sawyer are tougher than the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth, diamonds. They have needed that toughness to overcome the loss of their father, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Matt T.
After losing their father, Angels of America’s Fallen came into their lives to provide healthy extracurricular activities as a way to lessen statistically proven risks for depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, behavior problems, substance abuse and even suicide.
And now Madison, Elliot and Sawyer are shining on the Little League softball and baseball diamonds in California.
On a recent summer day, all three siblings were on the diamond for their respective opening days in baseball or softball. Their mom couldn’t be any more proud of how far they have come since the passing of their father.
“Elliot is doing amazing,” his mom wrote. “His confidence has improved so much and he’s doing really well on his new team.”
Madison opened her softball season strong on the rubber.
“Madison’s pitching is continuing to improve with her lessons with Anyssa,” her mom wrote. “She allowed no runs in the first three innings and ended with only allowing five the entire game in helping her team to a big win in their first game.”
Sawyer also dips her fingers into chalk from another sport, that being gymnastics.
Her mom said: “Sawyer lovers her gymnastics classes and has already moved up to Level 2!”
There are more than 16,000 children who have lost a parent who died as a result of military service since 9/11, and most of the children are very young at the time of loss (average age – 7).
Statistics show that the children have a greater likelihood for depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, behavior problems, substance abuse, and even suicide. Angels of America’s Fallen mitigates these risks by providing regular opportunities for participation in extracurricular interest such as sports, fitness, art, music, theater and other activities. Research demonstrates that feeling connected and engaged with at least two areas outside of family such as school/afterschool activities, positive peers, athletics, employment, religion, culture and the arts is a protective factor that can mitigate the risks associated with parental loss. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health, April 2016)
Join us in honoring the long-term commitment Angels makes to children of the Fallen. If you are interested in donating or learning more about our organization, visit https://aoafallen.org/donate.