Monday, April 20, 2009

Carrie's Heart Blog

Welcome to the Carrie's Heart Blog!

I'll be posting updates & photos on the blog on a regular basis. I hope this will be an effective way of keeping supporters informed of project updates, needs and upcoming events! You can also check out our Flickr photo albums and view slideshows of our pics from events & mission trips by following the link below:

Visit our website at


Valerie Project - in chronological order March 2006 - present
Fund for Teachers Projects in the Yucatan - July 2006


Carrie's Heart Bowl-a-Rama
Sunday, April 26th Times Square in Katy
12 - 3 pm

Registration: Due by April 24
Teams: Max of 6 bowlers per team
Bowling: Each team will bowl one whole game
Times: Be ready to bowl at either noon or 1pm
Buy a strike for $5!! Each bowler can buy up to 6 strikes per game and increase their teams chances to win!
Activities: Enjoy these activities before or after your bowling time: pizza, bottomless soda and cake; free pool; video games (paid by individual); awards ceremony at 2:30pm!!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Condolences for Valerie


I too felt so sad when I saw that Valerie's time had ended. I know you are heartbroken and I hope you heal soon. She was so lucky to have you in her life. You are an amazing person Carrie.

Take care,

Dear Carrie

I just wanted you to know how very sad we are to hear we have lost Valerie. You must surely be heartbroken and we have been thinking of you these past few days. I feel privileged to have met Valerie, because she was the inspiration for the work you do and because of her you have made a difference in the lives of so many others. As a parent, I am thinking at this time particularly of Valerie's mother, who now has a job and hope for the future, and for whom Valerie's life now has an even greater purpose.

God bless you

Oh Carolina ,

I’m so sorry that I apparently missed the email concerning Valerie’s passing away. I know you must be hurting so much. I hurt for you, and I will be thinking of and praying for you. I hope your trip to Mexico went OK. I wish I was closer.

I don’t have the words to express how much I admire all you do and how very special you are. The thing that always helps me is remembering that God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle. So while it might feel so overwhelming for a long time, your pain will get better. Love you lots. Let me know if I can do anything to help. Call me if you just want to talk to someone and someone who is always on your side!



Hi Carrie,

It is only by selfless love and efforts on your part and that of others involved with you that kids like Valerie have gotten to lead a better life. As her soul fulfills it's purpose on this earth and moves on to the world unknown to us, all that we can do is serve others in whichever way possible to better their lives.
Thank you for showing us the way to do so by letting us be a part of Carrie's Heart family and by being the torch in the life of so many who would have been lost in the dark without you and your mission.


We just got your email. Our hearts are so heavy with Valerie's loss. God has a new angel and Valerie has no more pain. We hope you are doing were her angel on Earth - don't ever forget that.

Our love and prayers,
Sandy, William, Nick & Kaycee

Morning Paige
Am in
Europe and saddend by the news.was hoping for a long life and to meet this little girl one day.
Kye Laffoon

Hi Ms. Conn,

I could not believe what I was reading. I thought I would get to meet Valerie and the other kids when I visit Mexico the next time. Please convey my sympathies to Valerie’s family.


Olivia and I were truly saddened to learn about little Valerie’s death at the weekend. I can well imagine that you and Paige are heart-broken. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

What a truly remarkable little girl! It is quite obvious that God brought her into the lives of many, many people in order to open our eyes to the desperate needs of children like her throughout the world. Although her time on this earth was brief, she will most definitely live on in the heart of minds of those whose lives she touched. Her life has paved the way for others like her to live a better life, thanks in great part to your incredible work with Carrie’s Heart and the Valerie Project. No doubt during her short life, Valerie suffered great pain and sorrow. We must all be grateful that God has released her of all pain and suffering and picture her jumping from cloud to cloud in Heaven and giggling – God’s newest Angel.

May God bless you richly for all the wonderful work you do in Valerie’s name.

Fiona M. Espinosa

Hi Carolina,
Sorry to hear of Valerie's passing, but glad to know that there is more to life than here on Earth thanks to our Lord and Savior . What you did to help Valerie will create ripples for generations for those involved with her and with you. You may not know how many lives that you touched through helping Valerie, but God knows and it matters.
Thank you for all you do for children with special needs!
With sincere sympathy,
Amy Campbell

Bless you for helping to make Valerie's life happier and more comfortable while she was with us. Praise God that she is whole and well in Heaven now!I feel sad and happy at the same time. Valerie reminds me so much of my own daughter. Thank you for passing on this news. I pray that you have a good trip to Mexico. Blessings,Paula Adams

I just read your e-mail on Valerie and I am at work and I just broke in tears. Like the other e-mail (the one that talks about that now Valerie can eat her ice cream in heaven) and like my husband tells me about our little angel Marcela that when she goes to heaven, she will have a perfect soul and she will be able to talk and to do and do the things she can not do here in earth. I am going to pray for her mom and Valerie.

I am saddened !! My prayers are with you and her family…thanks for all you do with these beautiful children!!, love, Trish


I am filled with the beautiful memories I have of sweet little Valerie! The news of her passing has come as a shock to me!

I can not even imagine how you must be feeling right now. Valerie blessed us all, but the relationship you had with her goes beyond any words. The fierce motherly love and advocation you expressed for her was so sacred. While I know that you are at peace knowing that she is freed from the constraints of her physical body, your heart is surely grieving for her as only a mother's heart grieves, and I am so truly sorry for the pain and sadness you are experiencing.

The journey of Valerie's road to better health, joy, and dignity truly
began with YOUR footsteps. YOU were the world to her. Valerie is now an angel among our world and in the heavens, and her sprirt will be watching over you and and your mission here on earth . The bond you had with her did not die with her, it will be with you always.

In honor of Valerie and in gratitude for the birth and life of my sweet Madeline, I have made a small donation to help continue the mission of Carrie's Heart. Thank you for what you do for these precious children!!

Love, Olivia

Carrie and Paige ,
I am so saddened to read this news. Valerie has indeed touched many lives. I feel comfort knowing that my own little angel will take care of her and show her around to her new friends in heaven . And yes , they’re probably dancing, talking and eating ice cream as we speak. I can almost hear the giggles.
I’m thinking of you and Valerie’s family tonight.

I am so sorry to hear this news. Although I did not know Valerie she has made an impact on my life. From the first picture I saw of her she was forever in my heart. I am praying for all those touched by her life. I am also so blessed to know people that have let someone else's life propel them to do what is so desperately needed. I thank you all for your hard work, dedication and love for all the kids you serve. It is with great pleasure that I learn from you all. My heart truly hurts for you all while dealing with this loss. It is never easy. I will continue to lift you all up in prayer.
Much love,

I'm so sorry to hear about Valerie. Her story was so hopeful. I'm sorry for your pain, as I know she meant a great deal to you and many others.

I'm so sorry to hear about Valerie. You have worked so hard, and with
so much love, on her behalf and for all your other kids, I can't
imagine how you must be feeling. Please take care of yourself and let me
know if you need anything while you are down here these next days.

Thank you for that beautiful eulogy. Carrie, I will suffer with you as you carry this overwhelming grief. I wish I could take some of the burden off your shoulders. I wish I could write the grants and find the funding needed to sustain such important work as yours. What a blessing you are in so many people’s lives. I wish I knew how to manage real funding issues. Our gala is October 23rd. If you can attend, please be my guest, and stand and say something to new friends about the importance of valuing a neglected child’s life –that sharing the incredible offer of hope and dreams will bring light into a child’s life!

Love to you and let the strength of God be with you during this difficult time.


dearest carrie, i know your heart must be so heavy and your eyes filled with tears. but, forever you'll know, that for one little girl , your heart was open and she was loved. and her time here on earth was better because you found her and loved her. i am sure a part of your heart has a burning crack in it. valerie was sent to you as a gift. surely a darling, broken little package, who found love with you. to try to understand her short time is very difficult, but, i know, that because of your open heart she led you to an unbelievable humanitarian mission in the yucatan. your ability to encompass these children will always inspire me and make me so grateful that you and valerie were given to each other so that many children will have a better life. with love, doe

Dear Carrie,
I am so saddened at this news.
Bless you for all the love , hugs and smiles you gave Valerie.
I will be in touch..

Love you,

For the past few hours I've been thinking of memories I'm so grateful for...

Do you remember that first Christmas when we just went crazy with the presents/decorations for Valerie? And once we saw everything we kinda looked at one another and laughed with a moment of regret thinking we'd over done it. I'm SO glad we did and don't regret a single thing.

And a hilarious memory... our slumber birthday party at the hotel! I still would do that all again, maybe minus Jaunito, even with all the crazy non-sleeping. You and I freakin' shared a double bed! What the heck? I'm so glad we created those memories with Valerie and love that she got to experience those things with us.

She deserved so much more but I am so grateful for what we did get to do with her.

Thanks for being there for all of us. I can't imagine how hard it must be and I'm grateful the boys are with you, bc they can understand a little of what you're going through.

Many hugs - Call anytime...

Paige Whitten

Dear Carolina,
I am so sorry to hear about Valerie. I am glad you able to be at her
memorial. If not for her, so many others would not have been helped. Her
purpose was greater than she knew.
Take care on your travels.

I FEEL the sweetness and beauty of Valerie's spirit just reading this e-mail and viewing the pictures. And oh, how I can relate in many ways. Tears are streaming. Just her smile alone will stand alone.

Can't wait till we get the opportunity to sit and share! Don't get discouraged, Carrie. Keep on doing what God has placed in your heart and in your soul to do. It's my prayer that God will increase your territory and increase the provision for the vision that He has placed within you!

Talk to you real soon.


Dear Carrie—

I am so sorry to learn of Valerie’s death. What a beautiful little girl she was—and what a difficult short life she had. Thank you and the rest of the Carrie’s Heart Family for making it better for her.

Best wishes,


No tengo palabras para decirte mi sentimiento.

te mando un abrazo.....tu amiga: LULÙ

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Our Valerie

Dear Carrie's Heart Family,

Before I travel to Mexico this afternoon, it is with overwhelming grief and sadness that I am writing to let you all know that our little angel, Valerie, has fulfilled her purpose on this earth and has now been released. I received news this morning from Cozumel that Valerie passed during the night. Her memorial service is tonight and I'll return on Wednesday. I can have peace knowing that when we were last with Valerie a few weeks ago she was filled with joy, laughter and light. This was because of each one of us who touched this precious child's life over the past few years. I will miss her smile and laughter but we will continue her work here in her memory and her name.

Many have already asked what they can do to honor and celebrate Valerie's life. We will be accepting donations to the Valerie project in Valerie's name to continue our work. Thank you to each of you.

The following links will help you remember what a remarkable life Valerie lived and the legacy she leaves behind:
This link is the homepage of the "Valerie Project" where you can see all of the children Carrie's Heart supports through this project.
This link will take you to Valerie's personal page.
This link will take you to our Carrie's Heart Flickr page that documents Valerie's life.
This link will take you to the Carrie's Heart donation page where you can make a donation in honor of Valerie's life. You may choose to make a donation on-line using Paypal or send a check.

Please forward this e-mail to anyone else in your life who might have had contact with Valerie, but is not on our Carrie's Heart e-mail list.


Here are words from a Carrie's Heart board member, Paige Whitten...

As tears stream down my face I feel a desperate need to share with you, our Carrie's Heart Family, my broken heart. Even though we only knew Valerie for a few years, she left a permanent imprint on every heart with which she came in contact. She communicated with all of us through her gorgeous brown eyes & infectious laugh. When we found Valerie at 8 years old, weighing only 13 lbs, we knew she needed us and in many ways we needed her. Her desperate need caused Carrie, and the Carrie's Heart family, to seek out other children with severe disabilities in the Yucatan region, thus creating "The Valerie Project." Her life helped save so many others & will continue to live on through the lives of the children in our Carrie's Heart family.

I'm grateful for the little time I got to be with Valerie because she taught me more about loving people... loving them unconditionally, looking for the good in others, and accepting them for who they are. Her life also reminds me of my own calling ... to help children with disabilities live their lives to the fullest.

I try to smile through my tears knowing our angel, Valerie, is dancing somewhere in heaven, eating ice cream (2 things her body wouldn't allow her to do here on earth) and being loved on by all the other angels, but the selfish part of me wishes I could've witnessed it here on Earth, as we had so much more progress to make with her. Just as I have hopes & dreams for my own daughter with a disability, I had those for Valerie.

All my love & tears today,
Paige (Mommy of Anna)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Tuesday at Fish City Grill

First Tuesday at Fish City Grill
Tuesday, August 5th

First Tuesday is an all day benefit for Carrie's Heart at Fish City Grill in La Centerra in Katy. Carrie's Heart will receive a percentage back of the total sales for our group. We will be meeting for lunch between 11 and 2 and for dinner between 5 and 8. If those times don't fit your schedule come on in anytime during the day. The benefit also includes take out orders and catering.

This is a great event to bring new friends of Carrie's Heart to. We will have information about Carrie's Heart displayed at the event all day & we look forward to seeing new friends & old!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Karaoke Night was a hit!

Carrie's Heart Karaoke Night at Wild Wings Cafe was a blast!
On Sunday, July 6th Carrie's Heart and Wild Wings Cafe hosted a Karaoke Night in celebration of Jordan Buckert's birthday. It was a ton of fun for everyone! A huge thanks to Wild Wings Cafe in Katy for providing karaoke for the event & for the wonderful service by their staff. The patrons were also so generous to our group & joined in on the fun! What a great place! Check out the pictures from the event by following this link!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Meet Sheyla

Sheyla is the newest child being sponsored by Carrie's Heart in the Yucatan. Sheyla lives with her parents and her brother and sister in Playa del Carmen. She is 11 years old and has cerebral palsy. She is nonverbal but very observant of all around her. Sheyla enjoys soft music, cartoons and car rides. Her family moved recently to Playa del Carmen from Felipe Carrillo Puerto (where we have 4 other sponsored children). Carlito's family has offered to help guide Sheyla's family in connecting them to local agencies that could provide Sheyla with needed therapies. Sheyla's needs also include adaptive equipment for the home (feeder chair, bath chair, wedges) and a stroller chair (Convaid type) for transportation. She would also benefit from stimulation activities for the home. Please consider making a monthly pledge or one time donation to Carrie's Heart during the Summer Sponsorship Drive for Sheyla or one of the other sponsored children in the Yucatan!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Sponsorship Drive 2008

This summer we kicked off our first annual Summer Sponsorship Drive in an effort to bring in needed funds for our children in the Yucatan at a time when giving is not always as frequent. So far we have had great success & each donation is being matched dollar per dollar! This is an incredible opportunity for us to raise the needed funds to care for our sponsored children into the Fall. For more details check out the links below:

Letter from the Board of Directors:
Letter from the Board of Directors

Printable Pledge Sheet:
Printable Pledge Sheet

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