Anna’s Sweet Ride

I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to sit down and write more than just a few sentences.

A few months ago I was visiting my friend Eden, who lives down the street from my house. She and her husband Mat had recently taken their 4 year-old daughter, Anna, to Shriner’s hospital to have her fitted for a wheelchair. The wheelchair she needed was expensive, and I knew this family had limited resources. A lightbulb went on. With sites like gofundme and kickstarter, I considered that perhaps we could start a small fund ourselves. Why not ask for a little help to get her that wheelchair? Eden’s eyes lit up when I mentioned it, and we started brainstorming ways to make it happen. I suggested ideas that I seen in the past working with non-profits and school fundraisers, like collecting items to auction off, setting up a website for donations, and getting the word out through social media.

The first thing on the list was to go out and take some professional pictures of their family for the gofundme page. Then post it to the blog and share on social media while we started working on other parts of the fundraiser. Eden and Mat set up the page and nervously clicked “share” on Facebook. They were hopeful that we could at least raise $1500 out of the $5500 that they needed. I hadn’t even posted it to my blog yet when Mat called me two days after he shared the initial post and left a voicemail that sounded like he said we had met the goal. I had to call him back because I wasn’t sure I heard him right, since his voice was quiet and sounded shaky. Within two days of posting a picture with Anna’s story, the family had met their goal. Even so, within the week donations continued to roll in.  A check would slip through the front door, another man from church would shake hands holding a $100 bill and say “Let us know if you need more”. It gave me chills hearing them tell me the stories of all the generosity that poured in from people in their community. Word had spread to their friend’s friends, their church, around town and of course online. All of this happened before I had even blogged it or finished organizing the other parts of the fundraiser. I am so humbled by how much love and generosity is possible within a community.

I wish I could say that I had something to do with the success of their fundraiser, but other than giving them a nudge to start it and taking some pictures, I’m certain that it came from all the positive energy and good karma they have invested into the people around them. Those who have had a chance to connect with them know they are wonderful people. The Turnbow family has met their goal for the wheelchair, (and soon I’ll be posting pictures of her when she gets it) but this family still has a lot of medical bills and a wish list for Anna (such as a tricycle and will eventually need a van to transport her wheelchair) so please feel free to donate if you can, and help spread the word!

Below is the original post (and you can still donate here): Go Fund Me ~ Anna’s New Ride

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