Giving back continues in Nevaeh Denine's name
The little girl who wanted to help, continues to help, as her charity lives on
The spirit of Nevaeh Denine lives on this Christmas season, as her charity forges ahead to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for sick children across Newfoundland and Labrador.
Her lemonade stand was a huge success, an idea of her own to help kids going through similar situations as her. But, it was her supporters who helped take her dream to the next level. They continue to run with it today.
"I just know that she would be so proud of everything that's happened since she passed. And with Christmas coming, it's definitely the time of year that you want to be giving back," said Stephanie O'Brien, one of Nevaeh's closest friends and an organizer with Nevaeh's Lemonade Stand.
"We are all busy because Nevaeh left us really big boots, giant, giant boots to fill. So we're constantly trying to keep her legacy alive, and we don't want it to fade away into the background. We miss her and we wish we could share all this with her."
The effort for Nevaeh's charity has quadrupled, according to O'Brien. She said everyone involved is working tirelessly to keep the legacy going. Donations are continuing to roll in, Christmas parades are honouring the nine-year-old, and even Mile One Centre and the Newfoundland Growlers have dedicated a section to Nevaeh's memory inside the arena.
The Saturday before she passed in August, O'Brien spent the evening with Nevaeh and her mother. The little girl made O'Brien promise that her lemonade stand would continue after her death.
The committee in charge of Nevaeh's charity is working on making the organization officially registered — and they've had a lot of community support. From the St. John's Regional Fire Department decorating its engines, to Jack Astor's running a toy drive, and Dominion providing everything the group could possibly need, the charity was never without.
We are all busy because Nevaeh left us really big boots, giant, giant boots to fill.- Stephanie O'Brien
"There's nothing that we have needed or wanted since they've jumped on board. Even down to the day of her funeral, everything was taken care of," O'Brien said.
"So many people have done so many things."
Although some days are harder than others for O'Brien, she often remembers her young friend for the good times, as the nine-year-old had a feisty spirit that wouldn't allow people to be sad around her.
O'Brien joked about how Nevaeh would call you "a wimp" if you cried around her.
"I try to remember her being healthy and happy all the time. She loved Christmas ... and I remember her coming over with a little Christmas dress on, at Christmas time, and hanging out and playing in the living room," she said.
"She's a legend — and she always will be."
With files from the St. John's Morning Show