Nonprofit Stories - Rob's Kids
Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is grateful for the many nonprofits that support and strengthen our community. We are actively reaching out to these organizations to listen to their stories in order to share them with you. This is an ongoing project that will cover many organizations across Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.
Even after 10 years, the ripple effect caused by suicide continues.
Rob Potter took his own life just three days before his daughter Sam’s 10th birthday, on the day of her birthday party. He left behind his wife, two beautiful daughters, brother, parents and many other family and friends who loved him dearly.
Many hours of therapy were spent with all the members of his family, moving through life one day at a time until they discovered that it was easy to be stuck in a grief pattern that could cause a person to spiral into a depression so deep that they, too, wanted to die. That is what happened to Sam.
After receiving support and medical attention at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s (CCHMC) Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in College Hill, Sam felt equipped with the tools to first and foremost, be a survivor, and second, to help others survive, too.
When Sam approached her grandmother and said that she was ready to help other kids survive, Stephanie knew it was time to help Sam and Emma put something together that would give back to the organization that helped save Sam’s life.
So, in January 2012, Rob’s Kids was born. They began by supporting CCHMC’s annual Cincinnati Walks for Kids, raising more than $74,000 between 2011 and 2017. This money has helped fund a playground, bike path, and audio/visual equipment for the CCHMC College Hill campus. Building on that, Rob’s Kids began collecting gifts to fill bags for each young person residing in the College Hill psychiatric unit over Christmas, for a total of 900 bags of gifts delivered between 2012 and 2017.
Additionally, Rob’s Kids offers two $1,000 scholarships each year to high school seniors in Boone, Campbell, or Kenton counties who are pursuing a degree in the mental health field.
Stephanie walks the walk every day. She is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor, and a Certified QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Gatekeeper Instructor. She serves on boards and councils throughout our community, where she values her own ability to connect people for greater impact and collaboration.
Sam is in college now majoring in Physics, and Emma, who is still in high school, is doing duel enrollment at a local college studying leadership and psychology.
“You can choose to be a survivor, or you can choose to be a victim,” Stephanie reflects. “And as Sam would say, ‘We are survivors, and we want to help everyone else be survivors, too.’”