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Who really received the blessing?

Organizing a family reunion led to helping a young girl, Arie, with medical expenses due to being born with triple congenital amputation. $1,300 was raised at the 2019 Ollie reunion.

It was last fall when Kathleen Zersen, of Solon Township, mentioned to her mom’s side of the family that she’d like to have an Olli reunion. She knew it was going to be a real challenge—her mom was one of 10 siblings, and only her mom and one sister were left out of the 10. But she had no idea how the reunion would help benefit one of the littlest members of the family.

Zersen thought it might be tough getting all the names and addresses of all the cousins. “Right away my cousins and other relatives started encouraging me,” she said. “They sent support and gave me helpful ideas. I felt they wanted a reunion as bad as I did. We worked together to make it happen.”

While making phone calls for names and addresses, Zersen was told that one of her cousins had a child born to them with triple congenital amputation. “This beautiful little girl, Arie, had lots of doctor visits and surgeries. I wanted to help in some way.”

Zersen started talking about having a sale at the reunion to help fund medical expenses. So she and others worked on souvenir items with the name of the Olli reunion and date on them. “We put a suggested donation price on them, and it worked great. We raised $1,300 for this beautiful family,” she remarked.

Zersen said that 75 people attended the reunion and they had a fabulous time. “God blessed us with new and renewed relationships,” she said. “Little Arie has pink sparkly prosthetic arms now. Please pray for her hip to heal so she can get a prosthetic leg some day. She is loved.”

So who got the blessing? “We all did, but I think I was blessed most of all,” said Zersen. “Thanks be to God and thanks to all the workers and donators and to all who came to the 2019 Olli reunion.”

Anyone who’d like to donate to future medical needs of little Arie can visit her gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/prosthetics-for-arie.

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