A Metro family is turning a tragedy into a day worth smiling about.
The Ulrich’s spent the day ‘Paying It Forward’ for their son Andrew who would have turned four years old on Wednesday.
Kellie and Matt Ulrich are remembering the good times they shared with their son Andrew who died at just 18 months old from complications from E. Coli.
“It was shock in the beginning, devastation and shock and feeling truly helpless,” says Kellie Ulrich of Clive.
Every year a tree donated to the family for Andrew is decorated, its one small way the family can honor the little boy they lost too soon.
At Andrew’s funeral Matt challenged everyone to do something positive in his son’s memory and the idea took off.
“We were amazed about how good it made us feel, this is obviously a tough day for us knowing what we had and what is now gone but it`s a way that his spirit is still alive he`s with us,” says Matt Ulrich of Clive.
That small message turned into a big mission, ‘Pay It Forward’ every year on Andrew’s birthday.
Family, friends and strangers are spending what would have been Andrew’s fourth birthday celebrating his life and giving back.
“You end of leaving and you feel exhilarated, and you`re hoping that put a smile on their face and they`ll go and do something and it`s really that domino effect,” says Andrew’s Aunt Megan Geary of Clive.
The movement has continued to grow every year and now people all over the U.S. spend March 12th making someone else’s day a little easier.
And giving the Ulrich’s something to smile about on a day that is so tough.
“You can`t say it`s not sad, it will be the most sad thing ever in our life, but the memories that we have and with ‘Pay It Forward’ that we continue to have through other people`s stories really help us through this day,” says Matt Ulrich.
This is the third year the Ulrich’s have ‘Paid It Forward’ on March 12th.
For more information on Andrew’s story and the foundation set up in his name click here.