Toddler's memory lives on through random acts of kindness

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Frederick family was torn apart 6 months ago when their toddler died tragically after running into the path of an oncoming car.

But wait until you hear how the little girl's memory is living on through random acts of kindness happening all over the country, all in time for what would have been little Marra Frehiwot Olsson's 3rd birthday. And this all happened in the course of one week.

There are no words when you lose a child. As the day that would have been little Marra Frehiwot Olssen's third birthday approached, mom Amy and dad Sten created a Facebook campaign to pay it forward.

Amy says this of the idea, "It's helped us get through this tough time of her birthday. She would have done amazing things with her life but even in her death she's still doing amazing things."

The Olssen's

posted a picture

of a certificate on their Facebook page and asked people to keep Marra's memory alive by paying it forward, committing a random act of kindness, then giving the receiver this certificate. On it, is the web address to the Facebook page, and a plea for people to share their story. It took off.

People paid for the person behind them at the convenience store. Some paid for the toll of the car behind them. Others volunteered. There were hundreds of responses, flooding the Facebook page. Amy says she's heard from people all over the country and even the world, "Alaska, Washington, Utah, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, Chicago, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Germany, England, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan."

Amy says she feels blessed her little girl's memory is living on, "In Chicago, this is a really cool story. Some guy said that he received a dollar bill with her ticket stapled to it when he was at bingo at the senior center. Someone had passed out dollar bills to play an extra round of bingo." Another person went in a completely different direction, as Amy reads from the page, "We also gave 25 fruit trees to be planted in Africa to blossom and produce for many years to come."

Stories have been streaming in, "We baked cookies and paired them with the gift cards to a local grocery store and handed them out to two separate homeless men in the Capitol city."

"We were able to spark the trail of paying it forward at Starbucks this morning."

"So this woman purchased her prescriptions for her and gave her a ticket and said it was in honor of Marra."

"Was at a church meeting tonight and a friend of theirs passed this out with a piece of candy he has attached the ticket."

The stories just keep streaming in, all for a little girl who had touched so many lives in her short 2 ½ years, and will continue to touch so many more through random acts of kindness.

Amy says, "It's bringing us great joy in a time of really deep sorrow."

If you'd like to pay it forward, and pay tribute to Marra by committing a random act of kindness, you can print a certificate here:


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