RIVERVIEW, Fla — Like walking up to greet family, Lindsay and Mike Hernandez came to Collins Elementary school Thursday, February 25 to celebrate their son’s birthday.
“This year is especially difficult because he would’ve been five, which comes with a milestone of coming to kindergarten,” said Lindsay with tears in her eyes.
Christian Hernandez would have attended Collins along with his brother. He would have learned from the teachers there too and played with his classmates, but, Christian’s life was short. He never made it out of the hospital.
“Instead of saying it’s a boy or it’s a girl and celebrating with us in that way, they told us that we should plan to say goodbye,” Lindsay said crying. “He wasn’t able to get air.”
Two hours after giving birth, Lindsay and Mike held their son and made a promise.
“I had heard the stories and read all the things but you never think it’s going to happen to you,” she said. “So we made a commitment that day that we were not going to not be his parents in some way.”
With good deeds, they call their foundation Kindness for Christian. They’ve worked with missionaries, orphanages and schools globally hoping to make a difference. At Collins, they donated $500 to the kindergarten team.
“It hits your heart, right? Because this is real,” said Rebecca Sargable, the principal at Collins Elementary school.
They also matched the funds the school has for its outdoor classroom project, and a local business got word of the cause and donated money too.
“It’s really going to make a difference and it will spread some smiles and some kindness right here on our campus,” Sargable said.
The money will go towards hands-on science activities — the focus right now is life cycles, which means students will see how caterpillars grow into butterflies — a perfect way to honor Christian’s flourishing memory.