Andie is extremely strong and so inspiring! She has been faced with one challenge after another but continues to stay positive and make a difference in the lives of others. She does not let her disability get in her way.
She knows what it’s like to be in pain, she knows what it’s like to be in the hospital, and she knows what it’s like to be bullied. “You don't know how many times I’d be sitting with my friends at lunch and see kids at another table laughing and being cruel,” Andie shares. But she doesn’t let any of it stop her.
Because of her experiences, Andie understands just how important it is to treat the people around you with respect. “I treat everyone equally, I don't put down anyone, so what if we have a disability? That doesn't mean we can't do something, we may just have to learn a bit differently, but we can still accomplish great things and go far,” explains Andie. And Andie is a very good example of that.
She believes that “everyone needs that one thing to keep them going, to stay motivated. Whether it be religion, art, music etc.. having a purpose and something to do is what keeps us alive. My purpose is to spread smiles to kids who are facing a struggle, that is what helps to keep me going and motivated as well as being apart of choir and singing.”
Andie makes what many have come to know as ‘Smile Boxes’. They are boxes filled with all sorts of fun things that she gives to children who are faced with something difficult in hopes of helping bring a bit of extra joy to their lives. Currently she is making them for one of their local Children’s Hospitals and both of the Ronald McDonald Houses. If you would like to contact Andie for more information about the Smile Boxes, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org