Elizabeth Herro Dowdy 2016 Scholarship

IMG_3832On Friday, May 27, 2016, I attended the Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) graduation ceremony at First United Methodist Church in Waco Texas.  I wanted to support the students that in some small way I feel connected to.    You see, this was the first year that we would award Elizabeth’s named scholarship since endowing it in December 2015.  There were 31 graduates this year from MCH.  The largest graduating class to date.  The University of Texas has a charter school on the MCH property for the residents.  Trey Oakley from MCH had called earlier in the week to tell me who had been selected for Elizabeth’s scholarship.  He shared with me that “she” played drums in the praise band, had a part time job, and described her as having a free spirit.  She had taken dual credit courses and would be attending McClennan Community College in the fall with a track to attend Baylor University.  I loved when he described her as having a free spirit!

So, I drive to Waco, grab a bulletin and find a seat.  I open the bulletin and find that the recipient of the Elizabeth Herro Dowdy Scholarship is also the Salutatorian!  But the ceremony was a time of overwhelming emotion that is hard to describe.  So much healing and hours of wreath making had come to this moment and the tears began to flow and my MCH family that I was sitting next to began passing me Kleenex.

IMG_3823.JPG

So, please meet the 2016 Elizabeth Herro Dowdy Scholarship recipient Maegan (May) Wells!    I enjoyed her Salutatorian speech where she shared the three things she had wanted to accomplish while she was at MCH:  1.  Build a better relationship with God.  2.  Build a better relationship with her parents.  3.  Be happy with herself.   She felt she had succeeded in reaching those goals.   And the next line in her speech made me smile:  She was happy that she had been her crazy self throughout her time at MCH. 

IMG_3826

Salutatorian address

 

 

IMG_3830

May receiving her diploma

 

I met her briefly after the ceremony and I will be praying for her and God’s blessing on her life in this next phase.

So, the keeper of my daughter’s legacy begins yet another verse with this young lady.    The emotions I felt that afternoon are hard to describe…….but I felt my heart was going to burst.  So much of God’s amazing grace, so much gratitude, so many blessings, flooding my heart and yet the hole in my heart for the loss of my amazing blue eyed 25 year old daughter was also very present.  But on this specific day, it was if my heart had to be broken to feel the grace, the gratitude, and the joy.  And it further affirmed for me that …..God is good.   Yes, even in the darkest moments.  And He is faithful to his promises.  One of those promises is to bring beauty from the ashes……May is definitely part of that promise and part of the beauty that he has brought from my loss.

To take a phrase from Elizabeth’s bracelet…… LIVE Big May Wells, LIVE BIG!

Congratulations!

Julie

 

 

The Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Dowdy 2016 Memorial Scholarship……

Tonight was a great honor and blessing to award the Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Dowdy Memorial Scholarship to a graduating Salado High School Senior.  This years scholarship went to a graduate who was one of two Salado seniors that received … Continue reading

Twentycoats Wreath Creations……2014

10580759_1524928827720656_4286286043348015739_oI wanted to close out 2014 with an update on Twentycoats Wreath Creations, a status on the scholarship endowments and share my wreaths from 2014 that made it all happen!

First, due to our move in October, I wasn’t able to make any Fall/Halloween wreaths or go to the two Sami craft shows that I was planning on attending.  Christmas was focused on making custom orders but with having craft supplies at the house, at my storage unit in Georgetown and Harker Heights, it was challenging, but I was able to make it all come together!

The great news is that I now have a permanent wreath/craft cave space at our new house that will go through a transformation in the spring that I can’t wait to show you when it is finished!  The majority of my craft supplies will be at a storage unit that is right around the corner from our house!

As you may remember I decided to start the accounts for the scholarship endowments in September 2013.  By the end of 2013 (4 months), with some ‘seed’ money to start the process from John and I, we ended 2013 with close to $6,000 in both scholarship accounts!  John and I funded the $1,000 scholarship award at Salado HS in the spring of 2014 for the 1st Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Dowdy Scholarship.

So, as we bring 2014 to a close, I am thrilled to share that Twentycoats Wreath Creations has contributed $5,360 the full sale price of the 62 wreaths to Elizabeth’s scholarship endowment fund!  Which brings Elizabeth’s Methodist Children’s Home Scholarship endowment account to $13,300 and the Salado HS endowment account close to $2,000 (I don’t have an exact amount at this posting) and awarding a $1,000 scholarship at Salado HS!   So, even with the move and not being able to make holiday wreaths, God has blessed this endeavor with a passion in my heart and our $2,000 seed that we planted.  Thank you God for placing this passion and keeping me moving forward!  John calls Twentycoats my ministry.  I like that.  I hope it has ministered to others and for years to come as they hear the story of Twentycoats.

I am excited that we are over half way to endowing Elizabeth’s scholarship!  $11,700 left to go!

So, what are my goals for Twentycoats Wreath Creations in 2015?

1. Fully fund Elizabeth’s scholarship endowment

2.  Focus on raising money for the Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Salado HS scholarship.

3.  John and I look forward to funding the Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Dowdy Salado HS $1,000 scholarship for 2015.

4.  Enter the CRAFT/TRADE show scene!

I also am touched and honored by those that have sent in memorial contributions to honor Elizabeth and the boys without a wreath purchase.   Thank you for joining me in being part of something that is bigger than ourselves and to make a difference.  My heart is full.  This is proof what we can do together.

Lastly, I was so blessed in 2014 to make numerous memorial wreaths to honor loved ones.  To be included in such a private and special place with others is such an honor and blessing.  I love making all my wreaths, but there is a special place in my heart when I am asked to do a memorial wreath.  I want them to evoke wonderful memories of their loved ones and to honor their legacy and how their spirit lives on in us and we are better people for knowing them.  So, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your families in this way.

Words don’t describe my heart when I say that I appreciate your support of Twentycoats Wreath Creations!  I am looking forward to 2015!

To re-cap the year, here is a video of 2014…….

To Him who is worthy, all honor and glory is yours…….

Julie

WWW.TWENTYCOATS.COM

IMG_2083After six months of re-branding and a new Facebook page I am so excited to announce that the website http://www.twentycoats.com is finally ready!  As you will see, I have re-purposed Elizabeth’s Twentycoats logo, utilized sunflowers (her fave!), and the  blue skies always asking me to look toward the heavens.

The site is complete with an ordering capability that provides order and shipping confirmation emails, allows me to track the orders more effectively, and has the capability to let you “pin” to your Pinterest board!  There is also a quick link on http://www.twentycoats.com to this blog site!  You will also find a cross reference link to the Twentycoats website on the menu at the top of this blog site.

I’m still loading more wreath pictures and adding individual descriptions, but couldn’t wait to roll it out!

I hope you take a peak and someday consider ordering a wreath to be a part of building scholarships for Elizabeth and the boys and watch beauty rise from the ashes!

Blessings!

Julie

 

Twentycoats Wreath Creations…….2013

IMG_0903As many of you may or may not know, I purchased Elizabeth’s website domain www.twentycoats.com.  I wasn’t sure what if anything I was going to do with it, I just knew I didn’t want anyone else to re-purpose the URL site or name.  In August, when I decided to start a scholarship fund and decided to auction off Elizabeth’s Easter wreath to start her scholarship, I also received an order to recreate her 1 year anniversary wreath for a dear friend in Salado.  That’s when God showed me the way and what I was going to do with her business name and how I would raise money for her scholarship at Methodist Children’s Home and the boys scholarship at Salado High.  I was going to do it by selling wreaths one creation at a time!

As we close 2013, I wanted to take the time to reflect on my wreath creations and sales/contributions for 2013.  I have been very blessed in the last four months!   Due to the generosity and support, I have contributed  $8,000 dollars between Elizabeth’s scholarship fund at the Methodist Children’s Home and Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes’ scholarship fund at Salado High School!

If you purchased a wreath from Twentycoats Wreath Creations, I want you to know that I prayed over each wreath that I created, delivered, and shipped.  I prayed that God would bless your homes in a mighty way!  I also sent these wreaths knowing there is a part of my daughter and grandsons memory adorning your homes during the Christmas season, everyday, and for those special moments in your life!  As I told many of you when I delivered your wreath and many of you knew Elizabeth and the boys………..my prayer is that you have a wonderful reminder in your home of her amazing spirit and may it bring you joy!  And when you look at your wreath or take it out and hang it for another season, my hope is that you will remember my little girl and three amazing little boys and may it give you an opportunity to share her story with others.

I also collect pictures of the wreaths hanging on their new owners door.  These pictures are such a blessing to me.  These pictures allow me to see my wreath creation placed in your home and knowing there is a part of my daughter and grandsons story all over the State of Texas!

I am looking forward to 2014 as I continue to build a legacy!

Therefore, I wanted to catalog the wreaths that I sold in 2013 and to that end I created a video.  The song that I chose is titled “Mountains” by the group Lonestar.  I chose this song, because when I was in Connecticut in 2006, Elizabeth called me one day and told me that I needed to listen to this song.  When I asked her why, she told me:  “Because this song reminds me of you Mom!”  I still to this day remember that fall day in Connecticut when it came on the radio and I pulled the car over to the shoulder and heard the song for the first time and the tears began to flow.  You see, as a single mom, that quit college and returned 25 years later to finish, who purchased her first home on her own and established a career past her prime, my youngest daughter understood the significance of all of that.  And so, 7 years later when I have a tough day, I listen to this song and it encourages me because of the message but also because my daughter associated it with me.  It speaks volumes to me in these days past July 30, 2012 and her homegoing.  So, in honor of that special memory, I have selected that song for this video.

Please click on the video below and see all the wreaths I sold that contributed to their scholarship fund in 2013:

Secondly, I created many wreaths as gifts, donations for ministries, schools, etc. along with the memorial wreaths I created for Elizabeth and the boys at their resting place in Salado.    I have also created a video to catalog those wreath creations.  Please click and see the memorial wreaths and wreaths I made as gifts:

Lastly, I am humbled at the support for Twentycoats Wreath Creations and I am looking forward to continuing this success in 2014.  To those that have sent contributions to their scholarship funds without a wreath purchase, gave more money than the price of the wreath, my heart is full of blessings and gratitude!

Julie