About Molly's Angels

Why We’re Here

To “Love it Forward”

At Molly’s Angels, we’re making a difference in the lives of children and young adults through our vision of love, kindness and financial support. Our goal: to keep them safe by preventing them from falling into addiction, depression and abuse that plagues many young people today. Through education, the arts and sports, we help them build the self-esteem and confidence they’ll need to become healthy and contributing members of their community.
Sheila, Molly’s mom, says:

“Love it Forward” is an important component of why we created Molly’s Angels. I want to help young people help themselves while encouraging all people to express loving kindness to one another and to look for ways to show they care. It feels “good” to give without expectations of what you will get back. By loving it forward, you can make a difference!

Love It Forward branding
Love It Forward branding

How Molly’s Angels Helps

We believe it’s possible to turn young lives around by engaging them in education, the arts, and sports. But that requires financial resources. Molly’s Angels provides that support through scholarships and direct funding of tuition, fees and purchase of instruments and sports gear. We also partner with other non-profit and social service organizations who help us identify young people who need financial assistance and mentorships. We’re also are grateful for direct donations from generous and caring Angels like you to support individual needs and scholarships.

How We Can All Help

Everyone who comes in contact with young people can change their lives and keep them safe. Helping them increase their self-esteem at a young age is crucial. Show them there are people who genuinely care and want to help. Inspire our youth to make the best choices in life by leading through example and giving them opportunities. If we all promote the importance of service in daily life by “Loving it Forward,” our young people will make the best decisions that lead to healthy, productive lives.

Love It Forward branding
Molly - Striped Shirt

Photo: Molly

Molly’s Story
. . . A Journey of Healing through Tragedy

If you had the good fortune to know Molly, you would have found it hard to believe this bright, energetic and caring young woman struggled with addiction for 15 years. She had so much to live for and so much to give this world. Sadly, at the age of 28 Molly tragically died from an accidental overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. She joined the heartbreaking and growing number of young people who are dying every year from overdose. But like every one of those young people, Molly was so much more than a statistic.

Molly was on a wonderful path before she died. Along with sister Dani and mom Sheila, she created the Pay it Forward Foundation with the mission to help young women—especially those who have experienced abuse—help themselves by reinforcing the positive and providing financial assistance. Today, through Molly’s Angels, Dani and Sheila want to complete the healing mission they and Molly envisioned.

Molly was frank about the challenges she faced but optimistic and excited about her ability to help others. She posted this on Facebook this shortly before her untimely death:

“I suffer from a disease called addiction. I am a heroin addict. I overdosed twice in a year and I spent my 24th birthday in the psych ward. It was my 10th visit. Along with addiction I suffer from severe anxiety and depression and an eating disorder which I’ve allowed to run me for as long as I can remember. It leads me back to heroin often. I am also the survivor of childhood sexual abuse and herein I believe lies my future. I want to start a foundation for other victims of sexual abuse. I want to get well so I can mentor other women who have been through what I went through. I believe it is my journey. A year from now, expect to hear about my foundation. It has a name and everything. All you ladies (and gentlemen) who have survived abuse and are thriving now are welcome to be a part of it. Please support me in this journey. I need the support of as many people as possible.”

Molly may have left this world far too soon, but her joyful spirit, her love of life and above all, her remarkable passion to help others, will live on through the many young people whose lives are saved by Molly’s Angels.

 

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Sheila’s Story . . . A Passion to Fulfill Molly’s Dream

Like the thousands of parents whose lives are shattered after losing a son or daughter to drugs, Sheila was devastated when Molly died from an accidental overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. But even as Sheila mourned her daughter, a powerful emotion took hold and compelled her to do everything possible to ensure Molly’s death—and life—would mean something positive and important to others facing similar challenges. Sheila, along with her other daughter, Dani, would take Molly’s desire to help people and her love of animals and combine them to empower young people by “Loving it Forward.” Molly’s Angels is the joyful embodiment of that passion and it’s already made remarkable difference in the lives of young people in our community.

“Molly was a wonderful daughter and I would give anything to have her here with us today, living a clean life and helping others, but I am dedicated to keeping her memory alive and helping those she couldn’t. After Molly died, I tried to think of a way to honor her. Helping underprivileged youth and young adults was something Molly dreamed of doing. She loved helping people help themselves. When I made the decision to start a foundation in her honor and name it Molly’s Angels, my heart came alive. I’m passionate about this and know I can help others suffering from loss to join me and make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. It’s the vaccine of life to prevent and cure depression and to spread kindness and love. Have you taken your daily dose of Vitamin B Kind?”

Molly and Sheila

Photo: Molly and Sheila

Sheila and Gabby Smiling

Gabby’s Story . . . Transforming a Young Life

When Sheila first met Gabby more than a decade ago, she found a cheerful  five-year-old with lots of energy. But like so many in our community who have very little money and few resources, Gabby faced a future of uncertainty.

Sheila originally met Gabby and her mother, Maria, because they lived next door to a family that was being helped by Vista Hill’s ParentCare program where Sheila volunteered. With Maria working full time, and Gabby’s grandmother undergoing an operation, Sheila realized she could help this family that she had come to love.

Sheila ended up helping the family on weekends and often during the week. She also provided financial assistance so Gabby could attend the Salvation Army Kroc summer camp and she paid for the young girl’s first clarinet. Thanks to Sheila, Gabby had the opportunity to learn to swim at the Kroc Center and gained many other skills, including ice skating and theater experience. Gabby just turned 16 and is working on getting her driver’s license.

 “I’m so honored and excited to have played a positive role in the life of Gabby and her family. I got the opportunity to watch Gabby grow up into the wonderful lady that she is today. She has a lot of friends and she’s come a long way from that shy little girl who didn’t know how to swing or tie her shoes. I’m proud to say she is a member of the Helix High marching band and still plays the clarinet. This experience has been wonderful for all of us. I look forward to being in Gabby and Maria’s lives forever! I hope everyone will consider becoming a  Molly’s Angel and help someone deserving like Gabby and see first-hand what ‘Loving it Forward’ looks like!”

 

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gaby and friend
gaby with friends wearing molly's angels hats