ImageEvery now and then, you hear something that tugs at your heart strings, brings a tear to your eye, makes you feel sad. And you want to help. But you don't know how. "What can I do?" You wonder. More often than not, that fleeting thought is lost in the shuffle of everyday life, and you miss a chance to make a difference in someone's life.

Consider the case of Halie Palmer of New Monmouth. Halie, a 6th grade student at Thorne Middle School, was recently diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor that originates in the cerebellum. You can help Halie, even if you have never met her or her family. Here's how.

Friends of Halie will be selling bracelets after mass at Mary Mother of God Church (formerly St. Mary's Church) on Cherry Tree Farm Road. The cost of each bracelet is $3.00. If you are not a member of Mary Mother of God parish, and would like to purchase a bracelet, please email Lori Piscernurek at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it <!-- document.write( '</' ); document.write( 'span>' ); //--> .

On March 27th, Thorne Middle School will raffle a wine gift basket. All proceeds will be given to the Palmer family to cover Halie's health expenses. If you would like to contribute, or purchase a raffle ticket, please contact Theresa Bemko at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thorne Middle School is collecting clothing, shoes, toys, etc., Thirteen cents per pound will be donated to Hugs for Halie. All clothes collected will be given to needy families. The first drop-off date is scheduled for April 18th at Thorne Middle School. For further info and a list of acceptable items for donation, please contact Tracy @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it <!-- document.write( '</' ); document.write( 'span>' ); //--> .

The Junction Deli is running a tab for the Palmer family. The family often stops in for food to take with them to New York City, where Halie is being treated. Why not donate to the Palmer's fund? The family is also in need of Pathmark gift cards. Halie eats pudding and Gogurt yogurt. Her mother brings her some daily; a gift card would help the expense, and bring a smile to Halie's face.

Additional fund-raising efforts, including an Elks Club spaghetti dinner, are planned to help defray medical expenses the Palmer family will incur over the next several months. If you would like to donate to Hugs for Halie, or assist in fund-raising, please contact Theresa Bemko at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If financial assistance is beyond your ability, prayer is not. There is a prayer chain circulating on the internet that requests a prayer for Halie each evening at 6:00 pm. In fact, that's how I found out about Halie Palmer. Even though I am not acquainted with Halie or anyone from Thorne Middle School, the prayer chain found its way into my mailbox. There are no coincidences in life. Thus, this column.

That a young girl should be stricken with serious illness definitely tugs at the heart-strings. What can I do? You wonder. Thorne Middle School, and Halie's friends, are coming together in true fellowship to assist this family in need. Join them. Buy a bracelet. Give a gift card. Say a prayer. Please don't let this get lost in the shuffle.

You can help Halie.