Today it’s a bus fire. Yesterday, it was cancer. Tomorrow it is a heart transplant.
When life is at its worst, it somehow brings out the best of the Lowcountry. People rally to take care of their own.
We saw it this week in a startling picture circulating on Facebook. It shows flames swallowing a mini-bus on the side of Interstate 95.
These kids are used to being disappointed.
CAPA executive director Christina Wilson
Minutes earlier, 10 teenagers and two counselors scrambled to safety. Minutes later, the 2001 GMC mini-bus was a charred shell.
The teenagers were on one of those trips we all remember, the ones that keep you awake the night before. I can see them fidgeting in their seats, imagining what the Carowinds amusement park would be like.
The trip was the highlight of the summer for the Open Arms Children’s Home in Beaufort, run by the Child Abuse Prevention Association. It cares for abused or neglected children in the custody of the Department of Social Services.
“These kids are used to being disappointed,” said CAPA executive director Christina Wilson.
That’s why they dashed up the road in two vans so the children could still go to Carowinds.
Later, CAPA volunteer Jesse Gavigan put up a GoFundMe page online, seeking $50,000 to replace the van. People donated $6,000 in two days.
My heart beats for every friend, bleeds for every injury to humanity, and throbs with joy at every triumph of truth.
From The Civitan Creed
For George Moody of Bluffton, it came as a surprise that friends were raising money for him. They knew it is expensive to fight stage four melanoma, which is in Moody’s lungs and other spots.
Jim Sauter, the pharmacist, started a GoFundMe page that has brought in almost $40,000 to help with travel expenses to New York and to Duke University, and with new medicines that just might work. Among Sauter’s accomplices were Hudson Ingram, Michael Reeves and Jeffrey Robinowich, as much a part of old Bluffton as the four-way stop.
Bluffton was there 16 years ago when George and Maury Moody lost their 23-year-old daughter Camden, the beautiful dancer, in a tragic car wreck. They were there when George and Maury stood heartbroken before a judge and asked him not to send the driver to jail because one lost life was enough.
And Bluffton was there when George barely survived long enough to receive the miracle of a heart transplant at Christmas time in 2008. It gave him a new perspective on the family’s gut-wrenching decision for Camden to be an organ donor. And it gave them a renewed appreciation for the words “blessed” and “thankful.”
Bluffton was there to see the Moodys serve as godparents to seven children of their Episcopal faith. And Bluffton was there when they reached out to help after the home of good friends burned to the ground.
George Moody, 69 and looking death square in the eye, told me Thursday that reaching out to help one another is vital to life.
For Mark Yarbrough of Hilton Head Island, the help is coming from the new Hilton Head Civitan Club, which he leads. He’s only in his 40s but now knows he needs a heart transplant.
The club is not turning to the internet but to an Old-Fashioned Spaghetti Dinner (with bake sale and 50/50 prize drawing). They’ll have two seatings this Saturday, Aug. 6, at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Grace Community Church, 450 Spanish Wells Road. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children.
Club member Caitlin Lee said, “We want to show him support and also bring awareness to organ donation registration.”
The Heather Trew Foundation will be there to spread the word and help register organ donors.
Lee quotes from The Civitan Creed. She says it’s cheesy, but she likes cheesy.
“My heart beats for every friend, bleeds for every injury to humanity, and throbs with joy at every triumph of truth.”