UNSUNG HEROES: Heather Graves

Heather Graves poses with her her granddaughter, Cassandra Rose.
Heather Graves poses with her her granddaughter, Cassandra Rose.

by Kim Cameron
“I’m not really sure how to help anybody so I’m winging it,” said Heather Graves of her recent kind acts during the COVID 19 stay-at-home orders. Heather is not one to sit idle and many know her for her extravagant custom cake creations that turn cakes into a dimensional masterpiece – a record player that actually plays music, a dog, and even the Eiffel Tower.

Recently, Heather added to her entrepreneurial and creative efforts and began a new engraving business, EnGraves, which ultimately provided the avenue for her recent acts of kindness.

Offering support for her friend who was struggling with not being able to have a traditional graduation for her senior, Heather offered the advice that it may not be what everyone pictured over the years, but it was still special.
“I feel bad for the graduating seniors. Cool kids, raw deal, but the sky is still the limit, and we need to point out what they are gaining. I think if we encourage them that this is unique and special it might be easier for them” Heather said philosophically.

Her pep talk turned into action, and Heather promptly made the graduating seniors a personalized key chain with their name on it. With the key chain, was a laminated note with lines summarizing their experience, “Your stories aren’t going to be like anyone else’s. Many graduation stories are so much alike, very similar, well, not yours…. You, graduating seniors of 2020, aren’t fitting the mold of what a typical graduation is, and that is somewhat special… Have fun with it however it unfolds.”

Then during this time, Heather had a personal COVID tragedy affect her family. The virus infected her relatively healthy 90-year-old grandma and took her life over the course of a week in Chicago.

“We had plans to visit,” Heather laments. During a different time the experience would have seemed more normal, “We weren’t allowed to visit and only two family members were at her funeral.”

Surrounded with negativity and squabbling on Facebook while dealing with her own loss, Heather was reminded she had to stay positive and continue her projects.

“I had to stay busy,” she says and already had a project in the works.

“I saw the ear saver file andI thought that might be good for people. I changed the design so it isn’t so sharp on the edges… I figured the least I could do is engrave it and pass it on for other people.”

Ear savers attach behind the head and hold the elastic strings of face masks so that the wearer’s ears don’t get sore and blistered, this can be especially helpful to healthcare workers. Heather made her earsavers from a mylar that could be disinfected and reused.

Heather then posted she was sending the ear savers to anyone who needed them and ended up sharing over 300 ear savers with local friends and some as far as Texas. Generously, she offered the ear savers for free.

“I am just here to offer perspective right now,” Heather shares with a laugh showing an indomitable spirit.