Norman Hayes of Tucker said his daughter was a very “giving child.”
He said it was “in the spirit of that kindness and that kind heart” that Livvy’s Love, a nonprofit organization that supports underprivileged youth, was formed in September 2008 to honor the memory of Olivia Nicole Hayes, affectionately known to family and friends as “Livvy.”
In August 2008, a school bus carrying 10-year-old Olivia was hit by an armored truck. Olivia died from her injuries four days later.
“Olivia, even though she was 10 when she passed away, got to participate in a lot of activities,” said Nikki Hayes, Olivia’s mother.
Olivia was a cheerleader for an all-star travel squad and the month before her death she attended the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.
“All of these activities are activities that cost money,” said Nikki Hayes. “We want to give other children the opportunity to do some of the things she was able to enjoy.”
After the accident, the Tucker community was “overwhelmingly supportive,” Nikki Hayes said, and “enlightened us just how much our daughter had touched so many people.”
Livvy’s Love is “a way for us to continue to honor Olivia and to keep her memory viable,” Nikki Hayes said. “It’s also therapeutic and gives us a chance to do things for other kids that we would have done for her.”
For the Hayeses, Livvy’s Love is a family affair with son Norman II, a sophomore at Harvard University, and daughter Kelsey, a seventh-grader at Tucker Middle School, also helping out.
“Both are very active about promoting the organization to their peers,” Nikki Hayes said. “It’s a really neat thing to watch unfold.”
Since 2008, Livvy’s Love, Inc. has raised approximately $12,000 to provide scholarships and various educational, extracurricular, and community involvement opportunities. The organization has sponsored tutorial programs, helped students prepare for standardized tests, sponsored a trip for cheerleaders to a national convention and made contributions to various other charities.
Funds raised last year from donations and the Livvy’s Love Fun Run/Walk supported two Olivia Hayes Memorial Scholarships, a needs-based scholarship sponsored by the organization. This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior from Tucker High School who excels academically, is intrinsically motivated, has a passion for serving others, and has demonstrated an exemplary ability to rise above unusual challenges and obstacles while remaining focused on pursuing educational opportunities suitable for a career dedicated to community service,” according to the organization’s website.
Proceeds also funded two other scholarships and an Atlanta Hawks outing.
On Jan. 19, Livvy’s Love Inc. will host its second annual Livvy’s Love Fun Run/Walk at Stone Mountain Park to raise funds to benefit various youth development grants and scholarships.
The run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. Participant check-in and on-site registration, which is $40 for individuals and $20 for children in grades K-5, will begin at 7 a.m. Prizes will be raffled during the event, including a new iPad. There will be signs to direct participants to the event site upon entry into Stone Mountain Park. Participants can register online at www.livvyslovefunrunwalk.eventbrite .com. All registrations include a Livvy’s Love Run/Walk T-shirt and one free general raffle ticket.
Last year more than 500 participants registered for the run/walk.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Nikki Hayes said. “It’s a great way to start the new year.”
For more information about the organization, visit www.livvysloveinc.org.