Valpo Family Takes Part in Project Bringing Hope to the Hurting

Valpo Family Takes Part in Project Bringing Hope to the Hurting

On Feb. 15, more than 70 individuals joined forces for the launch of The On Coming Alive Project. The project, which was featured on Disney’s parenting site Babble,, Baby Center, Romper, The Huffington Post, and various other sites shares a collection of stories of “rising from the ashes and coming alive” and can be found at

Lexi Behrndt, writer and founder of Scribbles and Crumbs, created the project in hopes to help others who have endured suffering, after losing her six-month-old son, Charlie, to a congenial heart defect. “I wanted to share with others that they, too, could rise,” Behrndt said. “That they, too, could see their suffering as horrible, but they could also use it to propel them to purpose, to refine their hearts with compassion, empathy, and love, and to understand that doing so does not negate their pain. It simply allows pain to coexist with joy and purpose.”

Contributors include Amelia and Joseph Kowalisyn, local Valparaiso residents, who started Emma’s Footprints, a charity in NWI that provides support to NICU and bereaved families. Joseph and Amelia’s are parents to twins Alex and Emma who were born premature. Emma passed away at 23 days old and Alex spent 29 days in the NICU before being released. Joe and Amelia say that they are honored to be a part of such and inspiring and uplifting project.

“I love that this project encourages people to find their way through whatever hardships life has thrown at them. Whenever I meet or talk with families who have lost a child, I always let them know that although it is impossible to see right now; that they will find joy again. It will be hard to accept and will take time, but it does happen. It is ok to allow yourself to find that joy.” said Amelia.

Joe and Amelia have been a part of this project since before the launch, Amelia has been working as the Director of Outreach for the project and says that she is hoping that this will continue to spread hope and light for years to come.

You can find Amelia’s story here: and Joe’s story of a father’s perspective on grief here:

You can also find out more information about Emma’s Footprints on the families Facebook page at