JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — We want to update you on a military couple we previously featured.
In the middle of the pandemic, Eric and Heather Leide started a non-profit called "Team A.Maise." Eric is the President. He's a sailor who retired from Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 2016 as a Petty Officer First Class.
The Leides goal is to bring the gift of hope and comfort to families and patients in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units of our local hospitals. They started the non-profit after their sweet baby girl Ashlyn Maise passed away at only three months old, from a rare and fatal developmental lung disorder.
"As I saw her come into the world, I saw her take her last breath and I held her in my arms, we wanted her short life to have meaning," Heather Leide said.
Team A. Maise provides items like gift cards for families to make last-minute purchases, coffee, snacks even something as simple as a toothbrush. Since our last interview, Team A. Maise is now helping about 4,000 people at local hospitals.
You can help with snack donations by clicking here.
"The hospital takes care of the patients as their main job, the family is secondary, so, Heather and I wanted to fill that void of what to do with the families and how to take care of the families while they're in the hospital," Eric Leide explained.
On June 19, Team A. Maise is holding its first "Baskets, Brews and BBQ" fundraiser. It's taking place at Ancient City Brewing in St. Augustine.
The money raised will be used to help more families in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units here on the First Coast.