Roy and Brooklyn Holtz of Greenwood had their second child, William, on July 25, 2017. William become very ill and passed away before his first birthday.
Many in the community rallied around and helped the Holtzs with lingering expenses. “Funerals and headstones are expensive,” said Roy. “Even for an infant.”
After laying their son to rest the couple began to look around the cemetary at the graves surrounding William’s when they noticed a nearby grave without a marker and began to discuss what they could do to help.
“We didn’t know what to do but we knew that we were going to do something,” said Brooklyn. “The more we talked about it the more we were convinced that this was something that we can do.”
After some investigation the Holtzs discovered not only the name of the baby, Chelsey Clifton, and the date of birth and the date that she passed, but also that the mother of the child was their neighbor. Brooklyn’s uncle paid for the first headstone.
That is when Roy and Brooklyn decided to set up the CNW Headstone Foundation to help needy families that cannot afford a headstone for their loved one.
“The main reason we started the foundation was that all insurance companies denied William life insurance because of preexisting conditions,” said Roy. “We did not have any extra money and if it weren’t for the the fire department, fundraisers, family and this community we would still be making payments trying to get a headstone.”
CNW is currently working to provide headstones for two families.
“We have many infant and homeless deaths,” said Brooklyn. “We aim to make sure that no one is forgotten and to help show that every life counts, no matter how short.”
CNW is non-profit and relies solely on donations and volunteers. If you are interested in giving money or time to this project you can contact the Holtz at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at cnwheadstones or donate to their Gofundme page at CNW/Headstones.
Brooklyn also has an account at bonfire.com/cnw-headstone-foundation where she sells t-shirts with the proceeds going toward the foundation.