A Welcome to the World Letter

By Kate Riesen

Erin Hicks, District Sales Manager at The Vitamin Shoppe, first learned about Vitamin Angels during an in-store promotion several years ago. Our work struck a very personal chord for Erin, whose son was born severely premature and in addition to a multitude of related medical issues, he had a vision impairment, and as such was treated with vitamin A. This simple, but critical intervention, she believes, had saved her son's sight. Learning there was an organization working to deliver vitamin A to children who would otherwise go without was a revelation.

Since then, Erin has thrown herself into the cause, spearheading team fundraising initiatives, working with community partners and joining us in the field with team members from The Vitamin Shoppe to see our work firsthand.

Now, as her son prepares to become a father for the first time, Erin was inspired to write her future granddaughter a letter welcoming her to the world. In the spirit of partnership, and every parent’s shared dream that their child has the chance to lead a healthy life, we share that letter here:

Always be kind. Stay curious. Be thankful. Love deeply. Expect the unexpected. And be ready for whatever life throws your way. Take pride in everything you accomplish and have faith in how far you can go.

My dearest granddaughter,

When your daddy called me in November telling me he and your mommy were expecting you, I was sitting with a group of dear friends. Suddenly all I could think about was what an amazing life you were coming into. I was immediately filled with a love I had never felt before! I had an overwhelming and instant feeling that YOU will always be the one that truly took my heart by surprise!

Oh, sweet lady, there is so much in this life you will get to experience!

In all that life will take you through though, I take great comfort in knowing that you, my first grandchild, have a mommy who has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I've ever known. She is one of the most beautiful women inside and out and she is so over the moon excited for your arrival. She will teach you, guide you, and love you as only a mother can!  And your daddy… well, what do I say here other than that he is my son, my very own miracle baby getting ready to be your father and there is no other man I think better for this role than he! He will love you more deeply than he has ever loved another and he will protect you fiercely, as only a daddy can.

You will surely have many happy days. Days filled with fun, adventures, smiles, laughter, bubbles, cupcakes, swing-sets, and excitement we cannot even imagine….  And yes, you will have days where you feel sadness, trepidation, and fear. But more than anything my sweet lady, my prayer is that you will know true JOY… joy which is so much different than mere happiness… a joy that comes from Jesus because you have been carefully chosen for this life, hand selected from God to come into this world to bless so many others lives. Embrace every moment life offers you. Always be kind. Stay curious. Be thankful. Love deeply. Expect the unexpected. And be ready for whatever life throws your way. Take pride in everything you accomplish and have faith in how far you can go. And always, always, sweet lady, chase that JOY…. Don't be satisfied with just happiness, chase TRUE JOY……that joy which is already shining brightly within you.

Your Grandma Erin loves you so very much!

“When you post a photo of a mom who inspires you on Instagram and tag #MomsRule May 11th & 12th, The Vitamin Shoppe will donate $5 to Vitamin Angels.”
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