The Elijah Foundation exists to provide support and encouragement to children and their families for the often...


Sharon Liddle, Executive Director of the Elijah Foundation, began to develop her ideas for books to help children with their challenges in the fall of 2002 because of her own child's needs. When Sharon was 35 and her son Elijah was just nine, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Desperate to help her son and family understand and cope with his rapid mood swings, Sharon immediately began researching his disorder and looked for materials to understand the nature of the disorder and what to do about it. What she found were mainly over complicated, dense technical manuals or books that were neither user-friendly nor targeted to a child's own reading level. More importantly what she needed was a way for Eli to understand for himself what challenges he faced. What Eli needed were stories that described his behaviors, helped him understand his encounters, and was sensitive to his feelings. Sharon searched for books that had fun characters and relevant illustrations stories and characters that would encourage empathy and a way to deal with emotional isolation. Surprisingly, she found none. Moreover, while speaking with friends and colleagues, she discovered that the availability of children's books on many other topics such as epilepsy, platelet disorders, cancer, weight control problems, asthma, test anxiety, among many others, were extremely limited and that most other parents were also looking for similar books to help their families. 

As time continued, Sharon realized that many children suffer in silence and frustration because they believe they are alone in their condition, disconnected from others and misunderstood by all. So, she decided to do something about it.

In 2003, Sharon developed the first book which was written for and dedicated to her son, Eli, and all those children who are challenged by bipolar disorder. She wrote the story, Eli, the Bipolar Bear. Soon after, a second book was developed, provisionally titled, Kasey, the Stressed-Out Silver Dolphin for a friend's son suffering from chronic test anxiety.  By mid 2003, Sharon knew the idea had merit and formed The Elijah Foundation as a platform for producing other books that would help children in Hampton Roads, across the country and around the world.
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