One family is turning their heartbreak into a way to help others.
A young girl's love for socks is now their way of sharing love for others.
"It was just like that," Alneata Kemp said, as she snapped her fingers. "Our sweet girl was gone."
An enlarged heart ripped nine year-old Courtney Kemp from her family's loving arms more than a year ago.
"She was with us Saturday. We were at Walmart and in an instant, she was gone that Sunday," Alneata Kemp said.
It took a long time for her mother, Alneata, her father, David, older sister, Tiana and little sister, seven year-old Lauren, to even begin to deal with Courtney's death.
"Finally, I was able to push myself out of bed and I found a bag. A bag of socks. Those were socks I was going to give to Courtney for her birthday or for Christmas and in that moment I absolutely lost it. Our truth was that Courtney would never be able to wear those socks," Alneata Kemp said.
However, she realized, others could wear those sock, and Socks for Courtney was born.
"We began to reach out to area businesses and organizations about donating socks and it has been a flood," Alneata said.
The Kemps collected new socks of all kinds, because Courtney loved socks.
The family partnered with the American Heart Association to raise awareness for childhood heart disease and have already given hundreds of socks to children at the Georgia Sheriff's Youth home in Swainsboro and area nursing homes.
"I think she is totally happy with our efforts. She would always want the expensive socks. The real crazy socks. That is part of our donation to the youth home, to the nursing home. Just fun, crazy socks, but with a little bit of warmth from the heart," David Kemp said. "This has been a really great experience for all of us and has really helped us to heal as well."
"When we gave those children a pair of socks it was almost as if they hit the lottery," Alneata said.
Georgia Southern University held a Christmas sock drive and the Kemps plan on delivering socks to the Children's Hospital at Memorial Health next. Their mission, and message, is growing.
"Every single person that we meet we can tell them to wear their socks every day. Those socks represent life," Alneata said. "You cannot put off today for tomorrow because tomorrow isn't promised," she said.
The Kemp's are also planning on collecting Socks for Courtney for the Haiti Relief Project and Socks and Shoes for an Orphan Soul. To donate new socks -- visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Courtneys-SOCKS/286115101529618 or call them at 912.531.4404.
Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.