Operation Purple Balloon in memory of Maddie

by Monica on April 8, 2009

Purple balloons for maddie

Several people have been twittering and blogging today about how helpless we feel. We want to do something to show our support to Heather and Mike as they grieve the sudden loss of their precious daughter.

It's not much, but I do have a plan and I need your help. Purple is a meaningful color to them. I think it would be awesome (I did this when another friend lost her son to cancer a few years ago) if we all do a purple balloon release in sweet Maddie's memory. Here is what we do.

  • Purchase some helium-filled purple latex balloons–not mylar (please see environmentally-friendly guidelines for balloon releases).
  • Sometime this weekend…when the Jewish and Christian communities are celebrating HOPE and MIRACLES…take some friends/family/whatever outside to release the balloons and say a prayer for Heather and Mike.
  • IMPORTANT: Have someone take a picture of the release.
  • Send those digital images to me at peapodsquadmom at gmail dot com by Tuesday, April 14.
  • I will compile a video montage disc of those images to send to Heather and Mike…from all of us.
  • Questions? Please email me or Bridget at queenofhaddock at gmail dot com.

Please let folks know about this. And if anyone knows of songs/quotes/poems/verses that are special to them, let me know that too. I want those on the video. Thanks.

(photo by burningkarma)

UPDATED TO ADD: While purple is a significant color for the Spohr family, please know that if you've already photographed a balloon release with different colored balloons…it's FINE. Please don't fret. The very fact that you are doing something to support this sweet family is amazing. Color schmoler! Also, if you can't get your pics to me until Wednesday, that's also FINE. And yes, according to the link I provided above, latex balloon releases that follow these guidelines are considered environmentally safe.

I think that gets most of the questions I'm getting right now. Thanks y'all! It is my hope that this project will make Heather and Mike smile…even if through tears.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

rachel-asouthernfairytale April 9, 2009 at 11:56 am


sarah April 9, 2009 at 11:57 am

We’ll be launching balloons in Michigan on Saturday. Will send pictures….

Andrea's Sweet Life April 9, 2009 at 8:47 pm

I was thinking of releasing a purple balloon on Tuesday at 2:30 since I’ll be on jury duty and can’t be at Maddie’s service – BUT, after hearing about your idea I think I’ll do that instead! I’ll send you photos this weekend. THANKS!

Magda P April 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm

If you could please encourage participants to upload the pictures to the pictures of the ballon releases to
It’s a group I started for people put pictures of themselves honoring Maddie. I would really appreciate it!

Undomestic Diva April 9, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I have been keeping a running post of helpful Maddie links (service details, where to buy t-shirts, how to bring in food, donations, etc.) on my blog and added this to it as well.
Thank you for this.

Dawn April 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm

In My Life – Bette Midler – cover of the Beatles song.
And really? latex is okay? we were talking about balloons but I figured mine would end up choking some poor animal.
We were also talking about doing something like this during the service on Tuesday…

perksofbeingme April 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

This is awesome. I plan to do this on Saturday when I have my nieces. I think it will be good to have them do it with me. I can’t wait to get pictures of it.

Angela April 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Agh, I released a pink balloon yesterday, before I knew Heather and Mike preferred purple. I hope that I can release a couple of purple balloons this weekend, but if I can’t make it back to the party store and you want to use the pictures of the pink one, they’re in the Flickr group for Maddie.

Midwest Mommy April 9, 2009 at 11:10 pm

What a great idea!

Maria April 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm

What a beautiful idea.
My family will participate.

FireMom April 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

We’ll release some tomorrow as well. (Raining today or we’d throw it in today.) Thank you for this idea.

Chantel April 10, 2009 at 10:49 am

What a wonderful idea. My kids and I will do release our balloons this weekend.

Fiona April 10, 2009 at 11:03 am

This is beautiful. Our family will release purple balloons!

Amy in OHio April 10, 2009 at 7:45 pm

The Cincy Crew is getting together tomorrow morning to do this. I’ll email you a pic as soon as possible to add to your video.
Thanks so much for doing this so we can all have a part in things – even from so far away.

WhyMommy April 10, 2009 at 10:06 pm

What a beautiful idea. We will release ours this weekend.

Suebob April 11, 2009 at 1:16 am

This is a sweet idea, but balloon releases in general are bad for the environment. I walk the beach all the time, and almost every day I find deflated balloons and their ribbons, which seem to be indestructible. I hate to rain on your parade, but I think there are better ways to honor Maddie.

Kim ~ Craftymamaof4 April 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

my children and I did one, here is the link to our tribute video http://craftymamaof4.blogspot.com/2009/04/operation-purple-balloon-sending-our.html
thanks :)

Angela April 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm

I know I’m late, but I’m releasing balloons in about an hour. I’ll have the pics up tonight and get them to you asap.

Angela April 17, 2009 at 9:30 pm

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