SPOKANE, Wash. — Emily and Joshua Love are giving Christmas presents to children of families who may not be able to afford them.
After their 8-year-old son Micah died in a camping accident, Emily and Joshua created a charity organization called Love 11 in his memory. The organization sponsors children from low-income families to play sports.
Love 11 has now expanded to create Micah’s Christmas Gifts, a charity program that gives Christmas gifts to children of low-income families.
The family still wanted to continue their holiday traditions the first year after Micah's passing, so they still bought gifts for their late son.
“We just started buying the gifts, not really having a plan of what we were going to do with the gifts,” Emily said. “And then closer to Christmas, it just came to us that we would kind of sponsor a child with giving them Micah's gifts."
For the past two years, the Love family has donated Christmas gifts to two children in the community.
“Blessing [the children] through Micah and kind of being able to share about Micah and our story, while giving back…that's something we're really passionate about,” Emily said.
During the rest of the year, Love 11 raises funds to help children get involved in sports.
The title comes from the family’s last name and Micah’s football jersey number.
"Sports were just a part of our everyday life, so that was our big connection with Micah,” Emily said. “Then we knew we wanted to help kids who couldn't be involved in sports for due to different barriers."
Now the organization has helped children all around the community, like 11-year-old Brayden Maddox.
Maddox wanted to play football, but his mother kept coming up short with the funds to pay for the registration fees.
“My mom got two jobs, almost three, I think, to get me in, and we just needed a little bit of extra help,” Maddox said.
Maddox submitted an application to Love 11. A short time later, he received a notification saying he'd been selected to receive a sports scholarship.
Now Brayden has finished his first football season after winning a regional championship with his Pop Warner teammates.
"To watch him be able to build himself...physically, emotionally, within what was much more than a team, it was life-changing,” said Brayden’s mother Amy Maddox.
In January, Micah would be turning 11 years old. His parents are planning an event to raise more funds for sports scholarships.
If you would like to make a donation to sponsor a child or apply for one of the scholarships, visit love11.org.