Lend A Hand: Couple Leads Donation Effort To Give Back To HQA

With his contagious smile and unconditional love, Jayden “Jay Jay” Oulahyane’s short life touched the lives of hundreds who knew him. Jay Jay passed away on May 16, 2013 under the Hospice of Queen Anne’s pediatric hospice program at the Hospice Center in Centreville. He would have been seven years old on Oct. 3.

“We always threw a party for Jay’s birthday with gifts, pictures … the works,” said his mother, Kari Oulahyane.

In celebration of their son’s “first birthday in Heaven,” parents Kari and Karim Oulahyane asked people to give gifts to Hospice of Queen Anne’s. It was their way of giving back to the organization that helped them care for Jay Jay during the final months and days of his life.

“I wanted to make sure that what we gave would be used to benefit other hospice families,” said Kari.

Through a special Facebook page that has been set up in Jayden’s memory, Jay it Forward, Kari published a request asking that others give items needed for the Hospice Center in honor of her son’s heavenly birthday. The drive that continued for the entire month of October yielded a room full of items in boxes that eventually lined the Oulahyane’s living room. About 30 individuals from as far away as California donated personal care items, paper products, towels, kitchen supplies, gift cards and much more.

“We have enough to last for months,” said Kenda Leager, HQA’s development officer. “Giving in-kind donations such as this saves us from having to use already stretched funds to purchase items for the Center,” she said.

To learn more about ways to give to Hospice of Queen Anne’s, visit www.hospiceofqueenannes.org, or call 443-262-4100.

In photo: HQA’s Kenda Leager, on left, accepts “tons” of donated items collected by Kari and Karim Oulahyane and delivered to the Hospice Center in honor of their son’s first birthday in Heaven.