CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The family of a four-year-old Chesterfield girl who died of cancer are continuing her mission of handing out toys and games to other sick children.
Brothers RJ and Sam Sam and parents Jenifer and Jonathan Vandermark are still coming to grips after Virginia Rose lost her six-month battle with cancer in December of 2015.
The four-year-old touched countless hearts during her short life. Even through her darkest of days, her parents said Virginia Rose was thinking of others when she would share her toys with other sick children in the hospital.
“That is what RJ says is that, ‘My sister is in heaven and I miss her, but we will see her one day again,’” Jennifer Vandermark said.
Grief though is never far away from the family.
“It just comes at you in waves," Jennifer Vandermark said. "You think you’re doing good. All of a sudden something triggers a memory and you’re like, ‘Oh man. She is really gone.'"
Before she passed away, Virginia Rose and her family started collecting and packing donated play things for boys and girls. That is when "Boxes of Love" was born.
“Basically we want the families to realize that they are never alone," Jennifer Vandermark said.
Jonathan Vandermark said his daughter taught him to be a better person.
“She taught me how to love deeper. How to help others more," he said.
Two years after her passing "Boxes of Love" is growing.
“And just for that 30 minutes when they’re opening that box and their face lights up they can be a kid again," Jonathan Vandermark said.
More than 200 boxes have been delivered to hospital wards caring for children like Virginia Rose.
“In the midst of blood transfusions, chemo and prognosis and doctor visit after doctor visit saying they are not going to make it," Jonathan Vandermark said. "They had love. They had joy."
The couple said a part of their little daughter goes into each package.
“Those are some of my favorite videos of her at St. Jude building those boxes," Jonathan Vandermark said.
The Vandermaks hope the boxes provide an escape for ailing boys and girls when they need it the most.
“Virginia Rose. She sends the boxes. She sends the love," Jonathan Vandermark said. "To see that ripple effect that continues to this day, it makes me honored to be her dad."
The Vandermarks are grateful for the love and support they received at VCU Medical Center and St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis.
In fact, the Vandermarks are returning to St. Jude's in October with a van full of toys and games for the sick children their.
The couple said Virginia Rose's memory will be with them every single mile of the journey.
If you would like to donate games or toys, click here to connect to “Boxes of Love.”