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About...

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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 , joy and smiles to children after they underwent heart surgery and were recovering in the hospital.  Myanna delivers heart totes every four to six weeks, as needed, 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 me 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 battle 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 me that this would be the perfect picture for her business. The rainbow is God's Promise that the storm was over and you have weathered the storm.  Heart surgery is one big nasty, terrifying storm that involves the entire family in an emotional roller coaster. Rainbows just seemed to brighten the 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, puzzles, cards, wristbands, crafts and a TY beanie baby can be found in 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 , her logo and has, “I am STRONGER than my storm” printed over the rainbow)®

The infants and toddlers receive fleece blankets that are sewed by friends; they are all very unique. We are so very Blessed to have these friends in our lives who have made hundreds of blankets over the years. 

(We wash all blankets and t-shirts in detergent that is Free of fragrances and dyes before distribution.)

In July 2019, a sudden death of a 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. 

In 2022, Myannas Heart Totes  was invited to the Inova Childrens/Fairfax Hospital Annual Heart picnic. It was wonderful to meet other heart families and give out some prizes and shirts. We also went joined in a community fall festival and helped raise awareness for CHDs as well as had raffles and prizes. It was a lot of fun. I'm hoping to do these more in the future. Following the fundraiser, we opened out gift registry and received over a hundred toys for infants and toddlers. It was incredible to see the pouring out of support. 

The TY Beanie Babies were chosen from the memories Myanna has from collecting them over the years. Myanna will continues sending out TY beanie babies and now beanie baby kids to each heart warrior. The original 440 TY Beanie Boos were donated by the TY CO. Since we have distributed all of them, we continue the tradition with beanies and kids that were donated from her Nanny and PapPap. 

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 our first toy 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. Every year since, we have an annual Toy Drive at Glory Days grill in both of their Lorton and Burke, VA locations every Thanksgiving through Christmas. We are overwhelmed by the amount of gifts that arrive. We couldn't succeed with our mission without these donations from the kindness of the patrons and generosity of Glory Days Grill.  

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 were overwhelmed with their generosity and  for their help so we can continue to pay it forward.  In 2023, we did another interview via zoom with Allison on WUSA9 for her "get uplifted" segment. 

 Thank you so very much. Myanna is Blessed and we are so very grateful. Below you can see photos of some of the contributors to MyannasHeart. 

 

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 found 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

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Our Community fall festival was Awesome last year! We met so many people who wanted to help Myanna. We ended up with so many donations and gifts for the heart warriors. We are truly blessed with the community outpouring. 

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Thank you Ms Geri, George and Laurie for creating such beautiful blankets and pillowcases for our Heart Warriors!

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A big Thank you to Holly's Heart for donating these Superhero Garments for Heart Warriors @Inova Children's hospital

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Thank you Lady Eleanor & Co. for the infant bows 

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Thank you Therese!

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Thank you Bed in the Clouds

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We love being a part of the Inova Fairfax/Children's Heart Picnic where we can meet other heart warrior families and give out our t-shirts and gifts.

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Thank you to all the volunteers at NY Giving Doll and Grandma for making such beautiful dolls 

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Thank you for creating these signs, Tanya @ TANYA LEIGH CREATIONS

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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.*** 

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Long Family Market

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Thank you Glory Days in Burke and Lorton, VA for allowing us to do a toy drive in your restaurant year after year!  Thank you to all the wonderful customers who contributed!

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Instagram...

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