Inova Heart Picnic painting with hundreds of contributors
Hello, My name is Sheri and I am Blessed to be able to call myself, Myanna's mommy. Myanna's Heart Totes was started when my 7 year old daughter had a dream. Her dream was to send some love , hope, comfort and joy to children after they underwent heart surgery and were recovering in the hospital. Myanna delivers heart totes every month to Inova Children's Hospital in Northern Va. She has also started to pick children on Instagram who have recently had open heart surgery or are heart warriors to receive her heart tote bags. She is hoping she can put a smile on their face. Congenital Heart Defects are a life long battle, there is no cure.
Myanna was born with two undetected congenital heart defects that required surgery at 5 months old. She saw the photos and always felt bad that this has to happen to other children. She wanted to make them happy again, but didn't know how. At the age of 5, she had another surgery to release a tethered spinal cord. That surgery made her realize how scary, sad and lonely hospitals can be. She told her mom that she wanted to give each child certain items that made her happy when she was in the hospital. Donating toys and gifts to children who are undergoing such a traumatic surgery is a way she thought she could show them that they are not alone in this and they will be resilient and strong like her one day.
The idea of the Heart Tote bags began as a way to bring gifts and comfort to children in the hospital. While watching Myanna draw rainbows and hearts day after day, it occurred to her mom that this would be the perfect picture for her business. The rainbow is God's Promise that the storm was over and you have survived. Heart surgery is one big nasty, terrifying storm that involves the entire family in an emotional roller coaster. Rainbows just seemed to brighten a day a little bit. They always brightened ours.
The Heart Tote bags have MyannasHeart Logo on the outside and read, “sending smiles and sunshine after your storm.” Each item in the Heart Tote was carefully picked by Myanna as she thought about each child’s age and gender so they could all have some fun and perhaps bring a smile to their faces. Items such as books, toys, play-doh, Legos, games, socks, wristbands, crafts and a TY horse Beanie Boo can be found in the totes. Included will be a customized t-shirt that they can wear when they go home if they wish. Myanna drew the design for the t-shirts that each child will receive. The t-shirts have a large rainbow, the sun and her logo and has, “I am STRONGER than my storm” printed over the rainbow.
Children ages 4-18 also receives a snuggly, warm fleece blanket to keep them warm. These blankets are made by volunteers around the community and organized from Amber at Blankethearts.org. She has generously donated the blankets for all the children. You can follow them and find more information at Blankethearts.org
The infants and toddlers receive fleece blankets that are smaller and sewed by a friend's mom; they are all very unique.
(We wash all blankets in detergent that is Free of fragrances and dyes before distribution.)
In July 2019, a sudden death of a chosen Heart Warrior for the month, passed away. This led Myanna to questions about sending gifts and to send their families gifts. Myanna now sends bereavement boxes to families of Heart Warriors who have lost their battle against CHDs. Myanna is hoping just to send them some love and let them know we are thinking of their sweet little warrior.
The TY Beanie Boo horse was chosen from the memories Myanna has from years and years of therapeutic riding. Her ponies over the years , Annie, Max and now a horse named New Star have brought her many smiles and happy experiences. She loves riding her ponies and the riding has helped her tremendously with her ADHD, Autism, Anxiety disorder and sensory processing disorder. She wanted to share her joy with other children when they received a pony of their own. The horses, Harriet the Beanie Boo, have all been donated from the bighearted company, TY, Inc.
In June 2018, the local North Stafford Farmer's Market/Long Sunday Market and Robin Long promoted MyannasHeart as their weekly charity. So many people donated shoes as well as donations. We were very moved by the kindness of strangers at this event. Thank you to Myanna's Aunt Lina for contacting the market and pulling this event together for us.
Glory Days Grill has donated coupons for free appetizers as well as a free ice cream for the children. These will be added to the heart tote bags that are delivered to Inova Children's Hospital starting in July 2018. In December 2018, Glory Days, Burke, VA hosted a giving tree for MyannasHeart that allowed people to donate toys that would find their way into many children's hands at Inova Children's Hospital. November 2019, we will start the tree once again at Glory Days Grill in Burke, VA so be sure to check it out!
In August 2018, Fox5DC with Allison Seymour had Myanna and her family at their television station for the "pay it forward" segment. Eastern Motors came and presented MyannasHeart with a table full of toys, books and gifts for the children as well as a $1,000 check. We are overwhelmed with their generosity and for their help so we can continue to pay it forward.
Thank you so very much. Myanna is Blessed and so very grateful.
Myannas Heart Totes are delivered to INOVA Children's Hospital child life specialists where they will be distributed to children after heart surgery or are mailed to heart warriors on Instagram who are fighting their heart battles daily. Donations always appreciated. Myannas Heart Totes is a Non-Profit 501(c)3 Charitable Organization. Please check out the bottom of the page for our Instagram posts and follow us at Myannas Heart Totes on IG and FB. Thank you
Myanna with Amber a heart warrior who started Blankethearts.org while helping to make no sew blankets for heart warriors and other people who they donate too. Blankethearts donates blankets to Myanna for the children after open heart surgery at Inova Children's Hospital
Her speech therapist from Achieve Beyond in Fairfax, VA (thank you!)
Gabby and her mommy supporting Myanna. Friends from very far away.
A heart warrior named Messiah, who received a new heart after multiple surgeries. He sent her a thank you card and wristbands for her and mommy to wear to help support him.***Messiah has since passed away but we will never forget his smile. Fly High superman. We will miss you.***