MESA, Ariz. (AP) – Former NFL tight end Todd Heap and his family are encouraging people to “share hugs and spread love and joy through random acts of heartfelt kindness” on Wednesday in honor of their late daughter’s birthday.
Police say Heap was moving a truck that ran over and killed his 3-year-daughter Holly in the driveway of their suburban Phoenix home on April 15. Mesa police said impairment was not a factor.
Heap and his family received an outpouring of condolences and sympathy from friends, former teammates and fans of the former Pro Bowl tight end, who played for the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals. Heap retired in 2013 after playing 12 seasons in the NFL.
The family created the site hugsfromholly.com , a campaign in memory of Holly, who would have turned 4 on Wednesday.
“Holly was known to give the best hugs, and her love for everyone and everything in life was contagious,” a statement on the site’s home page reads. “Let’s spread this joy as we scatter sunshine in Holly’s honor on her birthday.”
The family suggests that people wear pink for Holly on Wednesday, while also helping others throughout the day.
“Smile more,” the site reads. “Compliment somebody. Write a kind note. Share treats (or chicken nuggets). Do a free lemonade stand. Leave a bigger tip than usual. Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru. Donate a book in Holly’s honor. Turn up the music and dance … the list is endless. Be creative!”
The family also asks that participants take photos of their acts of kindness and post them on social media with the hashtag #hugsfromhollyday.
The site also includes a link to make a donation in Holly’s honor to the Baltimore Community Foundation, a group of charities that benefit the greater Baltimore area.
“Share this! Shout it from the rooftops!” the site says. “Let’s spread kindness and love and make Wednesday a HOLLYday!”