NILES, Ohio - A tree made entirely of recyclable goods is on display at the Eastwood Mall in Niles. Not only is it a work of art, the tree serves as a sign of hope.
"We trust that what we are doing here will not only raise awareness to the general public, but also to the people in the community that need that support and feel alone in that struggle," said Melinda Wolford with the No Stone Unturned Foundation.
The struggle Melinda Wolford is referring to is one her family has experienced firsthand.
After hundreds of appointments, she and her husband, Youngstown State University's head football coach Eric Wolford, received a diagnosis for their son Stone's rare genetic syndrome.
Not wanting other families to experience those same struggles, the Wolford's launched the No Stone Unturned Foundation aimed at providing support and raising awareness.
Just recently, they opened a therapeutic center for children in Kansas, a wish they hope to bring to the Valley.
"Nothing is more important to you than your child. Nothing. We would die for our children. So, when you have a child that has disabilities and you don't understand them and you don't know what to do. There is so much fear and that hope gets stripped from you. When hope is gone there is nothing left," said Melinda Wolford.
Melinda's wish is that the 'Hope Tree' will serve as a reminder to families, with similar struggles, that there is truly hope on the horizon.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the No Stone Unturned Foundation visit their web site at www.nostonefoundation.org.
'Hope Tree' artist, Erica Raby was excited when she was asked by the microWAVE Project to display her talents at the Eastwood Mall.
"People are going to be able to leave words of encouragement, hopeful thoughts on paper stones and place them in the grassy meadow below the tree," said Raby.