PROJECT UPDATES

  • The Eli's Park Project

Eli’s life was a testimony that we all have a legacy to leave: Eli’s is love. Eli’s beauty and joy spread widely. Carrying one extra chromosome, he shifted many people’s perspectives and inspired people to come together to work toward a common goal. He walked with grace, kindness, and was a light to all those around him. The Eli’s Park Project strives to create a peaceful natural space where everyone feels welcome and valued to enjoy themselves within a diverse and inclusive community. If you didn’t know Eli, the project shows you a glimpse into the kind of young boy he was.


Eli’s neighbor, Kelly Harland, wrote a song for Eli. Weaving her musical and lyrical talents together with her exceptional ability to embrace others exactly as they are, All the Things, captures the essence of Eli and his everlasting love. Desiree Cross, a wonderful singer and friend of Kelly, performed the song. Eli’s parents believe Kelly was just born with extraordinary compassion and a great capacity for love. They wonder if raising an autistic child encouraged her to be more intentional, more generous, and more inclusive with her love for the people in this world. They know for sure, Eli and their family, are so thankful to love and be loved by Kelly.


Album, Real Heart, by Kelly Harland Desiree Cross (Left) and Kelly Harland (Right)



When people are truly included, all the things in life that make a person unique are seen and loved.


“Thank you, Kelly, for looking at the world and seeing Eli this way. And, for remembering…


All the things Eli is,

All the things Eli would have been,

All the things he gave to the world.


I love you.


With tremendous gratitude to everyone who shared their love and talents on this special piece, The Eli’s Park Project is a blessing to be a part of.”


-Paige Reischl, Eli’s Mom, Design Team


Song written and produced by Kelly Harland

Vocal by Desiree Cross

Guitars: Brian Monroney

Engineered by Floyd Reitsma

at Studio Litho, Seattle, WA

  • The Eli's Park Project

A few of our teen advisors spoke up about what matters to them. Please read their powerful words and dreams for themselves and our world.

These amazing, generous, intelligent, young, Black women have devoted hundreds of hours each to our project in hopes of creating a more inclusive community. They are working hard, giving their time, taking risks, speaking up and stepping out for a better world. They deserve the same from us.


  • The Eli's Park Project

Dear Mom,

I got my copy of A Home for Gnome in the mail today.

I love every aspect of this book. From the sweet story, to the beautiful illustrations, to the clever language, to the fact that you’re so generously giving 100% of proceeds to the Eli’s Park Project. It’s really amazing.

I have a favorite part though. I love that each character relies on the kindness and support of others, while also having something valuable to offer. It’s how I remember Eli. He needed support for some things that come naturally to many of us—walking, eating, talking. And at the same time, he was teaching us all about love and belonging.


I want to always remember this: Every one of us needs help and every one of us can help.

I’m so proud of you, Mom. Not just for writing such a beautiful story. The support for this Seattle-based park project from my hometown, all the way across the state, is a testament to the way you have lived your life in Wenatchee. It’s a reflection of the way you see the best in people and are always willing to lend a helping hand.

We're experiencing the powerful ripple effect of your lifetime of love for others. Thank you.

I love you, mom.

Paige


A Home for Gnome is available for purchase at: www.ahomeforgnome.com!


A heartfelt thanks to Rufus Woods of The Wenatchee World for featuring our project and Mom’s contribution in his column. We appreciate you, Rufus, and your commitment to reporting with compassion and supporting a more inclusive community.