Monday, December 21, 2009
Today’s 'Hand Up' was Hands Down the Best
So you already know how much I love my morning radio program (the Johnny Dare Morning Show on KQRC), and how very much I appreciate their Hope for the Holidays program, and how I pretty much tear up on the way into work every morning during the holidays, when they contact that day’s families and rev up the ‘Hand Up’.
Well, today was no exception, but my word! What a simultaneously heartrending and heartwarming situation. Karly, a single mom of two young boys, works hard to ensure their needs are met. She’s not having trouble making ends meet, has their Christmas cared for, isn’t asking for help. But.
But her cousin Jennifer, a single mom of three (two boys and a girl), who would have been 44 today, was killed by a drunk driver on the 11th. Jen and Karly (cousins and best friends) made one another legal guardians of their children in case anything ever happened to them. Karly now has three more children, and has lost her best friend.
Jennifer had moved to San Antonio, TX, a couple years ago; her funeral was the 18th. Karly’s parents flew down to TX to bring Jen and her children home. These three little ones have not only lost their mommy, but they have absolutely nothing suitable for a KS/MO winter climate, and Karly, who will get aid for the children with the new year, doesn’t have enough to swing appropriate clothing for the little ones, let alone toys for their Christmas.
Kary’s not asking for help with the 'usual' (e.g., rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle payment, a medical procedure), isn’t looking to feed her kids or cover their needs. What she is looking for is a way to integrate her ‘niece’ and ‘nephews’ into her family as seamlessly as possible, and a way to provide a Christmas of sorts that may help negate the horror of their situation; a way to make Christmas not be the absolute worst time of the year for these children for the rest of their lives. She fair brought down the house when she described the difficulty of getting one of Jen’s sons to leave the cemetery; he didn’t want to leave his mommy alone.
So Johnny and Carrie decided on $1000 to give Karly a hand up. And they raised it within 6 minutes. Then they determined another $500 would be a better figure, seeing as Jennifer’s little ones need full sets of winter clothing each (San Antonio not being all that well known for its frigid weather conditions). That was raised in about another minute. You couldn’t get through on the phone lines (I tried … busy … busy … busy).
To top it off, Cosentino’s Price Chopper threw in a $500 gift card so Karly could lay in provisions for awhile without having to worry too much about how it will expand her meager budget.
This is why I love these guys; they give the community the opportunity to step up and behave like a true community. And the folk giving the hand up? Yeah, half the time they don’t even want to tell Johnny their first name, let alone their last … they’re not in it for the recognition, people, they’re in it for the way it makes them feel, and because its the right thing to do.
And that? There aren’t enough words in the English language to cover just how perfectly awesome that is.