|"Miracles for Children doesn’t enhance my life – it completes my life," says Strier.
Dove Canyon resident, Autumn Rochelle Strier, may have three of her own children, but she’s also looking out for so many more who really do need her help.
As executive director of Miracles for Children, a Tustin-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses, she is one busy lady.
Founded in 2001, MFK is dedicated to improving the lives of children stricken with life-threatening illnesses, the organization specifically focuses on providing children and their families with financial and other support during the treatment period, providing funds to entities that conduct research focused on eradicating childhood diseases, and also serves as an advocate for families in need who are combating terminal diseases.
Strier says she always knew that she wanted to help children.
“In college, I became very involved with an organization called Transition House, whose mission is to provide food, shelter and services to homeless families with children. During my time there, I was drawn to the light in the children who stayed at the House. Despite their tragic situations, I would see laughter, joy and hope in their eyes, and it impacted me greatly. After I left Transition House, I moved on to work with other charities, but I knew some day, I would find my way back to one focused on children. It’s where my heart is.”
Now, Strier does everything from putting on huge fundraising galas to working with families one-on-one to help them with financial aid. She recently facilitated for a family to use another family’s second home while their child is in treatment and was about to lose their home. She also, interacts directly with the children as much as she can.
“We have a wonderful program called Basket of Miracles, which delivers food and basic necessities to our families throughout the year. It is a wonderful part of what we do, and it gives me the chance to spend time with the children and their families, see what they need and figure out other ways we can help them,” she says.
Over the years, she has met many children, but she does remember one specifically:
“A woman I know, Kara, has a son who is a brain cancer survivor. When he was first diagnosed, Kara was a single mom, and due to the intensity of treatment for her son, Kara had to be at the hospital and subsequently lost her job due to her absences — and then lost her home. Her saving grace was a family who had heard of her needs and let her and her two children stay at their vacation home for a year while Kara’s son was in the hospital. Ten years later, Kara and her husband are doing the same for one of our families who is just about to lose their home and whose daughter is battling a rare blood disease. This little girl’s dad has been hit hard by the economy and can no longer afford their house. Kara and her husband graciously donated their Corona del Mar beach home to them for 6 months to regroup and save money.”
She doesn’t look at MFK as a job, either; it is something that completes her.
“Miracles for Children doesn’t enhance my life – it completes my life. Together with family and friends, it is my whole world,” she says. “The best part of what we do is keeping families stable so they can focus on helping their child fight his or her disease.”