Lacey Richcreek is a young woman who is wise beyond her 18 years. She thinks of others, and how she can make a difference in this world. Lacey has a soft spot for the people who live at Echoing Hills. She attended Camp Echoing Hills when she was younger and hopes to return this summer as a camp volunteer. You see, Lacey is no stranger to disabilities. She has walked that journey in her life having been born with Cerebral Palsy. Lacey connected with Cordell Brown, Founder of Camp Echoing Hills who also happens to have Cerebral Palsy. Lacey read his book and loved the story of his life and how he did not let his disability stop him from achieving the dream of helping others. Lacey is doing the same thing. She will graduate this year and head off to college. Her aspiration is to attend law school, but not before pursuing her first degree in communications.
This holiday season Lacey chose to start a fundraiser on Facebook. She used Facebook as her only avenue to sell Cerebral Palsy awareness t-shirts. Lacey sprung this last-minute idea on her parents, who though surprised, joined the cause and helped her with start-up money to purchase the shirts. Lacey said at first she thought she would be glad to raise enough money to pay her parents back for the t-shirt money with a little left over…but she far exceeded a small amount. Lacey raised $1,000! Joy Padgett, Lacey’s Aunt, joined us for conversation the day we met with Lacey and she was quick to say that the fundraiser was 100% Lacey’s idea! She did all the work herself from brainstorming the idea of comparing t-shirt prices to finally establishing the fundraiser on Facebook. This girl is ambitious, adventurous, and does not shy away from a challenge. A quick example is the fact that she has been skiing and parasailing…have you been parasailing?
Lacey’s goal for the fundraiser was to be successful in raising enough funds to buy a gift for each person living at Echoing Hills of Central Ohio. $1,000 was far more than she anticipated, but she quickly moved to the idea of buying more than one gift per person and donating the leftover funds to RHDD in Coshocton, Ohio. Lacey is very well-liked and admired, and she has had many friends volunteer to help her prepare the gifts…but Lacey quickly added she would like to wrap them all herself and include a card. The people living at Echoing Hills of Central Ohio are grateful for her thoughtful act of kindness. Lacey was concerned that adults are forgotten at Christmas where presents are concerned and she did not want that. She wanted everyone to have a gift to open. Lacey’s grandparents are another blessing in her life. Her grandfather drove her to Echoing Hills to deliver all the gifts. (Pictured with Lacey)
Lacey is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ. She has a steadfast faith that does not waiver. She started going to church with her grandparents and attended Sacred Heart School, the only school that would take her, and that turned out to be an amazing blessing. She told us how others around her showed her God’s love and that it grew inside her. One particular Nun stood out to Lacey. She took Lacey under her wing and taught her to climb stairs, speak in class and in public…in other words, teaching her independence and challenging her to be the very best she could be. At six years old, Lacey did not see the value in what this Nun was teaching her, but when Lacey grew older and this amazing woman had passed away, the value became real. Lacey said, and I quote, “I learned more about myself after her death than when she was alive. Because at six years old you don’t really care like you do when you get older.” Profound words from a very grown-up heart.
Lacey works at Auer Ace Hardware in Coshocton, doing just about anything she can…anything that is asked of her. She remarked that she does not have many friends in mainstream high school because her values and principles are different…but she quickly says that it is okay because her heart belongs to God.