The tragedy of what happened to Walt Harris and his family, after his step daughter, Aniah Blanchard, was murdered still haunts a lot of people to this day. They have decided to start a foundation, with the intent of helping others in similar situations.
Unfortunately, tragedy would strike as it was discovered that she had been kidnapped and murdered. It was a heartbreaking story that left everyone involved scarred for life and saddened for Walt and his family.
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Walt Harris and His Wife Launch “Aniah’s Heart Foundation”
While time has gone by, and Walt Harris has even returned to the Octagon, their family is still feeling the effects of this loss. However they decided that they would try to give back, by starting the “Aniah’s Heart Foundation.”
As Walt explained when speaking to UFC.com, he and his wife began this foundation with the intent to help others who are dealing with missing loved ones. They aim to give some sort of direction and help in ways that they wish they had when they were going through the same thing.
“In the midst of all the turmoil we were going through, we didn’t know where to turn during those first hours of abduction, which are the most critical,” remarked Walt Harris.
“An important aspect of our foundation is to help guide families and loved ones during those times, as everything is a whirlwind and it’s very traumatizing. From our personal experience, we might be able to comfort families and help point them in the right direction.”
The foundation has safety classes over Zoom and Facebook, and gives safety care packages to groups on a monthly basis. They will also be assisting in funding search efforts for missing persons, which are oftentimes quite expensive.
“When a family member has a missing loved one, you really don’t know what you need to do. The contributions we receive for Aniah’s Heart will go towards lodging, food, travel and other costs you just wouldn’t think about. We needed clothes on the fly, food and a place to stay when everything first happened,” said Walt.
“It becomes very, very expensive very quickly, and we realized how much goes into everything in real time. In those moments, parents aren’t even thinking of anything related to those things. You don’t think about renting a helicopter that costs $10,000 to search the areas from the air, you are just doing anything you can to try and find your child. We want to ease that stress as families are going through and those issues in the middle of that horrible process. We just want to be a buffer and blessing in that situation.”
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This is an unbelievable effort from Walt Harris and his wife. They say they are guided by Aniah’s kindness, and they feel like this is the right thing to do in order to honor the memory of their kindhearted daughter.