"We don't always know why something is happening, we just need to know that we will survive!"
- Laurie Liming
LAURIE LIMING'S Story
Laurie Liming is no stranger to success — or to hardship.
For 21 years Laurie Liming taught in Berkeley Heights schools. An accomplished educator, she was twice named "Teacher of the Year" for her district, received various grants from the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation and was lauded with many other honors. Her road towards achievement, as most roads, required hard work and dedication and navigation of occasional rough patches. She often reminded her students to find the silver lining in challenging situations, as there always is something good hidden within a tough experience.
In 2015, her road took a drastic turn. Laurie was diagnosed with Stage 3C breast cancer that had metastasized. During a grueling two-year journey, Laurie tried to focus on the positives while navigating the toughest journey of her life. The love of her family and strength of her community, along with unexpected kindnesses from strangers, carried her through over a dozen surgeries and month after month of multiple treatments. Her former students made bracelets that read,“Find the Silver Liming...we love you Ms. Liming.” These students, their parents, and the wider community made sure her children, who served as her caregivers, were well taken care of. Meals were delivered, rides to school provided, and donations were made to help Laurie and her family navigate life during cancer. Laurie and her sons vowed to keep the kindness going. The Silver Liming Foundation was born from that simple, yet powerful, gesture.
As her recovery became more of a reality, Laurie slowly began assembling informal get-togethers in her home, discussing the plights of others who had reached out to share words of encouragement with her amidst their own problems. Eventually, monthly meetings evolved into a non-profit group serving the needs of local community members, paying kindness forward - one gesture at a time.
The Starfish Poem and Silver Liming Foundation
As a teacher, Laurie often referenced the starfish parable about a boy who tried to save every starfish he could one day as he worked along the beach. When the boy was reminded by a local man that there were miles upon miles of beach, and that what he was doing might not make a difference, the boy replied, gently throwing another starfish into the water, "It made a difference to that one." That lesson became the most important one Ms. Liming has ever taught. She now has learned it, is living it for herself, and is spreading its wisdom and optimism to others.
Today, we’re a community built on kindness. Just like the child in the Starfish poem, Silver Liming Foundation is making a difference in the lives of individuals, one action at a time.
The STARFISH Poem
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy he asked: “Young man, what are you doing?”
The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die."
The man laughed to himself and said, “Do you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?” “You can’t make any difference."
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the surf, then smiling at the man, he said: “I made a difference to that one.”
- Author Anonymous
What the 5 arms of the starfish means to SILVER LIMING FOUNDATION
As a small organization deeply rooted in our community, we live the lessons of the starfish every day in five distinct ways.
Founder and President
Seventeen years ago, Laurie Liming created her business card and wanted it to reflect who she was as a person. It read, “Mother, Teacher, Tutor.” Laurie spent her career teaching general and special education at Mountain Park School in Berkeley Heights. She is the proud mother of two sons, Thomas and Matthew. Due to complications from cancer, Laurie retired in 2019 after 20 years of being an educator. Her community supported her family during Laurie’s two- year battle with cancer. Her goal was to reciprocate all the kindness she received when she conquered cancer.
She is the founder of Silver Liming Foundation, a non-profit that spreads kindness one gesture at a time. Silver Liming is important to Laurie because it is an outlet that allows her to honor those who helped her, while helping others in need.
Janine is a human resources executive and has been in the HR field for more than 25 years. Currently, she is employed as Executive Vice President, Human Resources, at Northstar Travel Group. Janine earned a BS degree in Psychology from the University of Scranton and an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Montclair State University
Laurie and Janine are long-term friends. When Laurie spoke about starting the Silver Liming Foundation during brunch several years back, Janine knew immediately that she wanted to take part in this worthwhile endeavor. Working with a fabulous team and being part of making a difference has been incredibly meaningful and rewarding for Janine. Janine is married and has 2 children.
DaLynn Barker Feely
DaLynn has worked in the financial industry for more than 20 years. She is currently a Director at Asurion and previously served as a Special Agent in the FBI’s New York Office investigating white collar crime. DaLynn earned her undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University. She is married and has three sons.
DaLynn joined Silver Liming Foundation after searching for a way to give back locally. Laurie taught DaLynn’s stepsons when they were in elementary school and made a huge impact on them as an educator and mentor. Since joining the Board of the Silver Liming, DaLynn and her family have taken many opportunities to participate in service projects together and give back to those in need.
Julie has worn many hats over the years. After graduating from Susquehanna University as a business major, she worked for Goldman Sachs in global operations for nine years. For the past 18 years, she has been raising her three children with her husband Jason and has been a strong volunteer leader in the Berkeley Heights community. She has sat on multiple PTOs, chaired the Berkeley Heights Downtown Beautification Committee for six years, and served as a member of the Peppertown Park Committee for four years. For two years, she was an advocate for “Cancer Stinks” for the Nicholas Tarabokia Medical Needs. Julie is a founder of Sustainable Berkeley Heights and volunteers for youth causes and supports branding/social media for the Church of the Little Flower.
Julie felt a need to focus her efforts on giving back to the community in a more direct and targeted way. Helping those in need by giving them a boost in times of need through kind gestures truly fits with Julie’s life mission and her faith.
How to contact us
Facebook Messenger: The Silver Liming