Please join Heller's Facebook Group, Random Acts of Kindness Because of Heller.


On the day of Heller’s life celebration, his grandmother (Mapa) said these words:

“Many people have mentioned the fact that this tragedy (the loss of our sunshine) is heightened by the fact that it happened around Christmas, and they wonder how we will ever get through another Christmas.

Christmas is Christ’s day and we will continue to celebrate Jesus on that day! But December 22nd will be a day reserved for celebrating the life of Heller, and we will celebrate on that day (and perhaps a few days prior to) the way he would want us to. On that day, we will go out and make a change, do a good deed, and let the world know that a little boy once lived for that special reason.”

So, on December 22nd, Heller’s friends and family will honor his memory by spreading random (and deliberate) acts of kindness to others. We encourage you to go out and spread some kindness of your own.

Then, if you would like to, please leave a comment or send an email to and share what you did, what you witnessed, or what others did for you so we may share Heller's impact with others. So we can remember that we are still celebrating his life!

Have You Received a Kindness Inspired by Heller?

If you received a card like the one below, and/or a kindness inspired by Heller, please share your story, so we may know how Heller's kindness touched the lives of others. You may leave a comment, or you may email your story to be posted on the blog to

Help this Site Grow Because of Heller

This year, we are making the choice to look forward to December 22nd! We cannot wait to share Heller's kindness with others. We know there will be difficult times as the date grows nearer, so we look forward to stopping by this site during those times to see what kindnesses are growing and to share stories of our kindnesses as well.

Please feel free to send an email to with any suggestions, comments, thoughts, or ideas about how we can make December 22nd even more special "Because of Heller."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Word from Heller's Mom

December 22, 2008 is less than two weeks away. It was exactly one year ago when we were preparing for the holiday season in the cookie cutter routine we followed each and every year before. One year ago my calendar read, “Mail Christmas Cards Today!, Jenny’s Christmas Concert, and Heller in Church Play.” Heller would be The King this time. In years gone by, he was a shepherd, and before that, a lamb.

The twinkling array of lighted snowflakes beckoned to our neighbors from our front lawn, “Merry Christmas!” they seemed to shout out. “Yes, we too are festive!”

Our annual Santa photo was positioned in its dedicated frame upon the piano, and our hand-picked tree stood proudly in the corner of the room--thanks to a single late night of tree-trimming assistance from Heller.

A few chosen charities awaited our donations. Last year we selected Water for Life and ECHO--two organizations that we felt would best turn our meager gifts into small contributions that would ultimately help to change the world. I will admit; we put forth very little effort in our decision. These charities were easily selected because they were the two that Heller chose through his youth program at church and through the Honor Guard at school.

Yes, we were well on our way toward a holly-jolly, conventional Christmas when December 22nd callously appeared out of nowhere and knocked us off of our path, thus changing the course of our lives, and the future of our Christmases forever.

Here, as I post this message, I have the option to share with you a story of sorrow and remembrance, a story you already realize, or at the very least can imagine, in your own minds. Yes, our hearts are damaged. Yes, sometimes we do not know how to go on. We could very easily come face-to-face with December 22nd this year harboring anger, fear, and trepidation, but Heller wouldn’t have it that way.

So, this post, this site, and this year (as well as the years that follow from here until we may join Heller in eternity) are not intended to deliver melancholy. Our purpose, Because of Heller, is to deliver joy!

If you are reading this, you probably think you already know just how Heller’s family and friends plan to face December 22nd this year. You may have received a reminder card, observed a flyer, or accepted one of Heller’s kindness cards. Each of these state, “Because of Heller, we plan to Spread Random Acts of Kindness on December 22nd.”

The truth is, however, “random acts of kindness” implies chance, arbitrary, haphazard, or accidental acts. Heller’s family, friends, and those new friends who are choosing to join us, know that our plans to deliver acts of kindness on December 22nd are quite intentional. Our acts are not random in any way. They are purposeful, premeditated, deliberate, and planned. Our abilities to perform these acts are a gift from God, given to us because He knew our path would be a difficult one. He knew that “those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” J.M. Barrie

We know that Heller is celebrating his first anniversary with Jesus this year, and with that faith and knowledge we are comforted. This year, December 22nd will not go unnoticed, and with each act this season, we will thank God for our blessings. Our routine will be different this year, but it will never again be routine. This year, and every year that follows, we will put our faith into purposeful action as we commit our deliberate acts of kindness in memory of Heller and in honor of our Lord! We are so glad you are here to join us!

In His Love,
Hayley Ritz


Anonymous said...

I had never met Heller, but heard about his passing.

The videos and pictures of him lovingly interacting with his siblings really touched me.

My birthday is December 22nd. I promise that I will remember Heller each and every birthday and perform a random act of kindness in his memory.

I pray for God's blessings on your family.

Mapa said...

Thank you "Anonymous." A promise to remember Heller each and every year as you celebrate your own special day is an act of kindness in itself.

Anonymous said...

I bought lunch for the person standing behind me on line today in the cafeteria.

GreyGhost said...

I brought in donuts for everybody in my department today and I challenged everubody to perform at least one random act of kindness.

Jane K said...

I took photos of all the kids in my daughter's preschool class and ordered prints for each of the parents as a gift.