HOMETOWN HERO: Elizabeth Wooldridge

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- After losing her 14-year-old daughter to cancer, Elizabeth Wooldridge has made it her mission to not only keep Julianna's memory alive, but to also do acts of good in her name.

In 2016, Julianna was diagnosed with acute Myeloid Leukemia.

"It was very much a surprise and we spent six months in the hospital," said Elizabeth.

Juliana, best known as JuJu, fought a hard battle, all the while putting her time and energy into giving back to others.

Specifically, JuJu was very passionate about helping foster families. Elizabeth said it was JuJu's goal to become a foster parent some day.

In January of 2018, Elizabeth and other volunteers created a program at their church, which allows foster parents to have a monthly date night, and lets foster kids interact with each other in a fun, safe environment.

"We do 'Ju's Foster Parent's Night Out' which is the second Monday of every month from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at night at Living Hope Baptist Church," said Elizabeth.

"We watch them, they come in, we feed them dinner, we do crafts," she added.

The program, in Juliana's name, has continued to see growing numbers.

"The very first time that we did Juliana's Parents Night Out we had seven kids and this last Monday when we had it, we had 50."

Elizabeth hopes the program will continue to grow. If you'd like more information about it, including RSVP details, email lara.mattingly18@gmail.com.

They're also looking for businesses or organizations to get involved that might be interested in providing meals for the kids.

As Elizabeth's mission to do good in her daughter's name continues, others say they see the impact.

"I can not imagine myself getting out of bed and doing the things that she has done. I mean, wow, that's amazing," said Jessica Thomerson, one of Elizabeth's co-workers.

Jessica said she has a hard time keeping up with all of the things Elizabeth does in honor of JuJu, and at a minimum, it's inspirational.

"Had Julianna grown up to be an adult herself, I think she would've changed the world herself and I see where she gets that from," said Jessica.

In addition to the foster program, Elizabeth has also worked as a volunteer with the Make A Wish Foundation, helping grant other kids' wishes.

For showing love and compassion to others, all while honoring her daughter and helping her name live on, we honor Elizabeth Wooldridge as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.



 
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