After the unimaginable loss of their mother in March of 2014, Rosie Slate’s daughters vowed to keep their beautiful mother’s memory alive somehow. They had lost the love of their lives and their anchor; they struggled with thoughts of moving forward in a world without her. But Ashli, Morgan, and Brooke found strength in moments of remembrance and stories shared of Rosie’s compassion, kindness, and special way of lifting up all those whose lives she touched. They knew there had to be a way for their mother’s vivacious spirit to live on.
They soon joined forces with close friends to set a plan into motion to keep their mom’s legacy alive by helping others when they needed it most. The inspiration first began with their mother’s favorite quote from another Winston-Salem native, Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The conception of a foundation with a mission of uplifting others started out as a simple phrase or hashtag — Make Life Rosie— to help others to continue to see the beauty in life. It grew from a phrase to a call to action to spread kindness, in hopes that, when life feels heavy, even the smallest acts of kindness may brighten someone’s day or give them that bit of support they need to stay strong.
Being raised by a single mom, they understood the sacrifices a mother endures for her family and often put themselves last. Rosie’s daughters and close friends decided that their nonprofit would focus on brightening lives and uplifting spirits of mothers facing unimaginable challenges. So they went on a mission to Make Life Rosie, one mother at a time.
The first fundraiser began in 2016 for a mother of two who had been battling Lyme disease for 12 years. They were able to help raise funds so she could receive treatment at a facility in Arizona. The love and support that was shown through this made them realize how much more they wanted to do.
Make Life Rosie continued. And now, each year on Mother’s Day, it spreads much-needed joy to mothers with children being treated at Wake Forest Baptist Health/Brenner Children’s Hospital. Generous donations from our community, family, and friends allow Make Life Rosie to deliver thoughtfully curated gift bags bringing comfort and loving strength to the moms who are spending Mother’s Day with their child in the hospital. Make A Mother’s Day, a Make Life Rosie initiative, is meant to uplift moms’ spirits and remind them that taking care of themselves is crucial. As Beth Whicker Smith, Child Life Specialist, noted, “Brenner Children’s Hospital is grateful to have support from the Make Life Rosie Foundation. Their compassion brings smiles to the mothers of critically ill children going through a difficult time. And the care bags they lovingly provide help to uplift the spirits of every recipient.”
Soon after their campaign ended for Mother’s Day last year, the girls began receiving submissions from followers asking if Make Life Rosie could do something special for other mothers in our community who are in major need of a heartwarming surprise. Fundraising would be vital to make these wishes come true.
So when their cause caught the attention of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at Wake Forest University, who has chosen Make Life Rosie as their local philanthropy, they were more than honored. The “Rosebuds,” as they are affectionately called, have spread the foundation’s core message and helped raise money for the organization through various events on and off campus.
It is important to understand the power of kindness: that it can shift mindsets and make the world a brighter and happier place. Make Life Rosie is on to something, and this is just the beginning. The girls have high hopes and plans to grow Make Life Rosie. If you would like to make a donation, submit the name of a mother in need, or volunteer your time to help make others’ lives “Rosie,” please visit our website at makeliferosiefoundation.com.