Saying last Friday was a rough day would be an understatement.
I went from a serious high, being so incredibly happy that HLS had the chance to give back, to the lowest of lows once the news of the shooting at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut broke. We cancelled posts, and barely even promoted the other fundraising efforts that we talked about in the Roundup.
However, I do want to share some good news on those efforts. Perhaps it will restore your faith in humanity.
While the puppets have surpassed their fundraising goal, the biggest news come in the Get Blake to South Beach Campaign. I was able to speak with Blake’s mother, Celeste over the weekend and she had this to share:
I told Blake last night, “looks like we are going to South Beach, it’s just a matter of watching the football game in the parking lot, or the stadium”. He and his brother, Brenden, are soooo excited!
And the reason the trip itself is so definite is thanks to the generosity of American Airlines. Celeste was informed via Facebook with this great news:
Today I was reminded of the generosity of the human spirit. Last Wednesday, I contacted a friend, Abby Alconcher. Abby is a flight attendant for American Airlines. She works endless hours, not only advocating for the AA flight attendants, but also for the National Psoriasis Foundation. My email simply stated the story of Blake Dudley, the young man who’s dream is to see Notre Dame play in the BCS championship in Miami. This morning, Abby emailed me that American Airlines would be providing his family with air transportation to Miami! I am so amazed that this came together so quickly. Yet, hearing his Mom’s voice on the phone as I told her about this generous donation was the best part so far! Thank you Abby, you are amazing!
Celeste expects to hear from American Airlines this afternoon with details of the flights.
On top of this, the fundraiser run by Southern Gameday, is now nearing $4,500!!! That is just around $500 short of the initial $5,000 goal so keep pushing to the end! In addition, local fundraisers have netted around $700, for this campaign. Bringing the grand total to the neighborhood of $5,200. We all know how expensive tickets are and I’m sure trying to find a wheelchair accessible seat will be no small task, so keep it up!
UPDATE 12/17 2:37 PM: The drive has surpassed it’s $5,000 goal and sets at over $5,100. This is amazing. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Donations are still being accepted and, should there be, any excess will be used to cover needs for Blake (transportation, medicine/care not covered by insurance, etc.). Celeste will keep in touch with us to update everyone on exactly how the money is used.
This generosity has been simply overwhelming. It is amazing to see strangers working together to help make Blake’s dream a reality. The world can sometimes show us a simply ugly and awful side of humanity and seeing something like this come together so successfully has warmed my heart.
Of course, while I am extremely happy for Blake, I do not want to minimize the pain and the needs of the Newtown community. CNN has compiled a list of groups that are accepting donations to help the families of all the victims. Personally, I am going to go down that list and make some kind of donation to help — just like our other efforts, any little bit will surely help and I hope you will join me.
I simply cannot thank everyone enough for their generosity and kindness that you have shown to Blake and his family and I would like to thank anyone else in advance that adds to his fund or for anyone that donates to any of the Newtown fundraisers as well.
Thank you for proving that this world is full of good people.