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Family’s burdens eased with help from Hardship Fund

When Danielle Holt was born two years ago with a heart problem that her parents were told would probably shorten her life and make her unable to do everything normal kids would do, Craig—a driver for Fred Beans Towing in Doylestown—and Erica decided to take each day as it comes and enjoy every minute they had together. Seeing Danielle, you would never have known she was sick most of her life. A beautiful baby girl with her dad’s bright blue eyes and blonde hair and her mom’s look and attitude, she had the biggest smile even through all the hard times she knew.

On July 10, her many struggles ended as little Danielle slipped out of this life at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition to their feelings of immeasurable loss, Craig and Erica’s finances had been strapped by their baby’s lifetime of medical bills, leaving them with no money to pay funeral expenses.

The Fred Beans Employee Hardship Fund Committee mobilized immediately with a “50/50” raffle that quickly raised just over $6,000, covering the Holts’ anticipated costs.

“We want to thank all of you for helping us get through this,” say Craig and Erica. “Danielle has taught us so much over the past two and a half years: no matter what adversity you face in life, always smile and never give up. ‘I did it,’ she told us before her passing.”

The committee, which was established nine years ago to help a Beans employee’s family with insurmountable medical bills after his devastating illness, has provided over $100,000 in assistance—from help at the holidays for a family burned out of its home to short-term loans for bill-paying, to the granting of wishes large and small during cancer therapy.

Danielle Holt  December 13, 2006 – July 10, 2009

Windmill Day School & Camp, Doylestown, came to the Holts’ aid as well. Co-owner Lisa Allyn Silverstein, fulfilling her pledge to help the Holts by matching the earnings from the summer camp’s Alex’s Lemonade Stand, separately gave the Hardship Fund $450 for the family. The stand raised $450—doubled by Windmill to $900—to fight childhood cancer. Lisa Street, center, ran the Alex’s Lemonade Stand with the campers in July.