Hello family and friends!
October has always been my favorite month. I love fall. Leaves changing colors, pumpkins, the return of sweater weather (well, maybe not here in LA, but a girl can dream). Molly’s October birthday, followed by Halloween ten days later, made it all the more fun. I refuse to lose our joy around this time of year, despite the indescribable void we feel in Molly’s physical absence. Taking out the Halloween bins stored in the garage, filled with the decorations and festive art projects that we’ve accumulated over the years, felt like a gut punch. The alternative of leaving them unopened would be worse. It isn’t really an alternative. It’s like that with a lot of things. Being with our friends and watching Molly’s peers blossom into teenagers, having their bar and bat mitzvahs, is sometimes painful. Not being with them would be worse. So, we lean into our relationships, hoping that our friends understand. That they keep showing up and inviting us.
As you’ve probably noticed, I cope by staying busy, shining Molly’s light. Admittedly, I underestimated the work associated with setting up a non-profit foundation. I want to spend my free time, limited as it may be, writing. Instead, I often find myself occupied with tasks (mostly mindless, which is ok for now). I am grateful to have help with things I can’t do myself. I go with the flow, knowing that the start-up process will eventually wind down, and I’ll find more space to write and just be.
The Molly Steinsapir Foundation is already making an impact in the world. Our #GiveUpGiveBack social media campaign resulted in over 150 different charities receiving donations. Our partnership with Court Appointed Special Advocates has grown from a fun-filled day at the zoo for hundreds of foster youth, to providing the kids with school supplies, and now moving on to a holiday toy drive. The Foundation helped to fund Theatre Palisades Youth’s summer production of Aladdin, Jr. and is committed to forever funding the fifth grade historical plays at Marquez Charter Elementary. Whatever I do in Molly’s name, I will ensure that Mr. Lantos and the fifth grade teachers put on the plays without budgetary concerns for as long as they are willing to keep doing them! That is how much our entire family loves them. Lastly, we are thrilled by the start of the new school year at the Molly Steinsapir Early Childhood Center at Kehillat Israel. KI bestowed this incredible honor on our family as an unconditional gift. We understand, of course, that this type of honor usually comes with a significant donation to the institution. We’ve committed to helping KI raise $250,000 for the school, and are halfway there. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has contributed, and those who will help us reach the finish line.
We’d LOVE for our local family and friends to join us on Molly’s birthday, October 21, at the beach, for a sound bath led by our friend, Sara, from Soul Wave Wellness - https://www.soulwavewellness.com. Cost is $40 per person – venmo @SoulWaveWellness. No doubt, it’s going to be a hard day. Being at Molly’s favorite place, surrounded by loved ones as we raise our collective spirit, feels like the best way to celebrate our girl and continue healing. We’ll meet at 5 pm, straight out from the Annenberg Beach House parking lot.
Of course, no celebration of Molly would be complete without chocolate cake! Our friend, Nina Ries, has planned a great virtual “event,” which involves friends from near and far making Molly’s favorite dessert - chocolate lava cake. Here’s how it works. Nina and her family tried various recipes and found the most delicious molten chocolate cake (which also happens to be easy to make). When anyone donates to the Molly Steinsapir Foundation this month, including by making a purchase from our shop, we’ll send you the recipe. A group of lawyer mom friends, led by Nina, used to do virtual group baking sessions in support of various charities. We found that it’s easier to simply send everyone the recipe to make whenever is convenient for them. No scheduling conflicts! We share photos of the baking process and finished results, and message each other questions in a group chat. There is nothing more fitting to celebrate Molly than families everywhere thinking of her as they bake chocolate cake. I don’t know how she did it, but Nina came up with the most perfect “Molly” idea. We can’t wait to see your cakes and smiling faces!
I’m proud of the new offerings recently added to Molly’s online shop. Custom candles, more awesome t-shirt options and a rainbow canvas tote. Much to Jon’s frustration, I over-order everything, from takeout to #TEAMMOLLY gear! Our garage is packed to the brim with boxes of fabulous merchandise (and TONS of toys that Eli ordered from Amazon when he was supposed to be scrolling through ideas for his holiday wishlist, but that’s a story for another day!). Since Molly was born on October 21, I decided to offer a buy 2 get 1 free mix-and-match special this month. Check it out at https://www.mollysteinsapir.com/shop. If there’s something that you’d like but it isn’t within your budget, you can make a donation of any amount and email me your order. I care more about Molly being remembered and our beautiful merchandise being enjoyed, than I do about fundraising or even recouping our costs. Local pickup at our house in the Palisades is always available.
Please continue to pray and send positive energy to our family, including, Molly, of course. When you see us, know that we welcome the opportunity to talk about her. We love hearing your memories of our girl. If you didn’t know Molly personally, please mention her name anyway. You can simply say, “I’m thinking of Molly.” Often, people don’t know what to say, so they don’t say anything. While we understand, it makes us feel sadder. It’s a comfort to talk about Molly, and to be reminded that she will never be forgotten.
Thank you for continuing on this journey with us. You lift us up when we’re weary and struggling to keep going. We love you all.