2 Braces 4 Paws

2 Braces 4 Paws started as a dream. Before I even knew what the sex of our child was I often dreamed he was a little boy. One time I even dreamed of a little boy in a wheelchair with a service dog before we even knew he had a neural tube defect. This dream has often stuck with me; especially after we found his defect. After he was born we had such a blur of events I never thought much more about it. As he got older and started to accomplish more than I had expected (so quickly) I started to feel the calling to look into getting him a service dog. I knew this dog could help him with every day tasks that can be taxing on a person with a physical disability such as spina bifida. I decided to start a WordPress blog and set up a GoFundMe with no real expectation of anything really coming from it. I just felt I had to put it out there and try!

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About a week later I decided to start a Facebook page to help spread the news and keep people up to date more easily. Before I knew it I received a call from a reporter for our local newspaper. She wanted to do an interview about our story! I was so excited for this opportunity, but I had no idea what would happen next. One of our local news stations then ran a quick summary of our story and we got a full page in the newspaper of the same interview.

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Within 2 days we went from 7% of our goal to almost 40%! We then did a quick follow up story with the same reporter. Within almost 2 weeks of all of this we fully reached our goal! Within that time we were reached out to by our local Chick-fil-A in which they hosted a party in Everett’s honor in which they donated 10% of their sales from 5pm-8pm one night. We had a great time, and they donated back $352!

We were also reached out to by a 1st grade Sunday School class from First Baptist Church of Hazel Green (AL). They had heard of Everett’s story and wanted to use him as their local mission project. These children wrote letters to Everett, made books about his story to sell, and one little girl made bracelets to sell. They raised $300! These children are the definition of Jesus’ love and we are forever grateful to them.

Finally, we have some family friends hosting a poker run in Everett’s honor. We will met them at the final location and he will give lots of high fives to every one who rode in the poker run before they go into the bar. What an awesome surprise we have planned for bikers πŸ™‚

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Within a month of our original interview we reached our goal of $10,000. We then were given another interview in our local paper and the same TV station did a full on air interview for us. It has been an amazing experience!

Even though we have reached our goal it was only set for the total cost of the dog, training, and initial vet care. The extra money we have acquired is being set aside for travel expenses (we will have to travel to meet the dog and then again to bring the dog home), and also for any other initial expenses of bringing a dog into the family. I am trying to prepare our two kitties πŸ˜‰ Feel free to continue to follow our journey as we are Waiting for Woofster!

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~Mandy

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