Making light out of sadness


By Natalie VonderHeide

When life unexpectedly takes a turn down the wrong road, there are small things we forget because it’s not important at that moment in time. 

Heather Frederick, creator and president of G ive Love For Life, has experienced this from an event that changed her family’s life in an instant. 

Frederick’s Sister-in-law, Gina,  was struck by a semi-driver on March 12, 2014, causing her to suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Their family’s last thought was how they were going to pay for gas to get to or from the hospital and what they would be eating that night.

GLFL wasn’t created for Gina though, it was inspired by people who came to her family and offered help and support when needed the most. Frederick took this idea and morphed it into a charity for people whose life is changed in a fraction of a second. 

“In the moment of those tragic situation you’re so away from your normal routine, and then to have people there to support you during that time, is really important. You don’t realize when someone is in a situation like that how much of your everyday life gets impacted,” Frederick said. 

In 2016, GLFL took on recipient Clayton Oates, a lifelong resident of Huntley and US Air Force Veteran, who was affected by critical injuries after crashing into an SUV from his motorcycle. As a result of the crash, Oates’s injuries included losing both legs and fracturing his arms. Frederick explains that Oates came into Heineman Middle School to talk about his experience with GLFL. 

“We provided him with a big chunk of money which they were gonna use to re-do their home to make it handicap accessible,” Fredrick said. “He came in and talked to our middle school students and the thing he said that it wasn’t even about the money that was provided, it was about knowing that somebody cared in a moment when you really needed somebody.” 

This isn’t a job for Frederick and the other board members. Everything they do is for charity and to put good in people’s lives who are in need. The creator of this charity can’t think of one specific moment where she really felt accomplished with what they do because all of them mean so much.

“I wouldn’t say there is one moment, I have multiple moments like that,” Frederick said. 

Over the summer, Huntley High Schools’s girl’s golf team helped fundraise for an event held each year, mainly known as their golf outing. This was used to raise money for various recipients.  

Tom’s Farm also teamed up with GLFL for Strawberry Fest and are known as big contributors and sponsors of the charity. 

GLFL is always looking for volunteers and additional resource support. People who are tech-savvy or are skilled in graphic art can reach out to Frederick through Facebook or her District 158 information. If you are looking to get some volunteer hours in for other miscellaneous topics or just willing to do some good for your community, you can click here and go under the volunteer page. 

Frederick always ends every message and post she puts out there on a good note by always saying the same thing. 

“Love, pass it on, it has to do with just really knowing that ultimately everything comes back to that,” Frederick said.