That’s really the only word that seems to come to my mind at the moment. It has definitely been blown. I started out with just a spark of hope in my heart that perhaps, somehow, we could get our story out there, but I had to start some where! So, I started this blog, made a Facebook page, set up a GoFundMe account…and hoped. We had a few good responses, mainly from amazing family and friends, but it seemed to be moving slowly. We then had a break through as a reporter for our local newspaper caught wind of our fundraising and asked to do a story about us. I knew this was the opportunity we needed to help not only our fundraiser, but to help spread awareness of spina bifida as well! The story was posted onto AL.com and will be featured in the Sunday paper. Then, I was contacted by one of our local news stations if they could run our story on their site as well as a news cast segment! Seeing Everett’s story on so many different sites, being shared across various social sites (especially The Chive), has been the most amazing thing I have ever seen! A week ago I would have never guessed it would have made it this far. I am so beyond words at the love and support from strangers and the Power of God I see working through these generous hearts. I had a good cry after seeing his picture on the news last night, especially after the news anchors commenting on how they loved the name Everett has chosen for the dog once he/she is in our family. We have such a loving community and, although I have tried to prepare myself for negative comments, we have seen nothing but positive and encouraging words. We have even had a lady who breeds dogs offer to donate a German Shepherd to Everett! We went, in one day, from a little over $120 to over 25% of our $10,000 goal! If THAT isn’t amazing then I don’t know what is!
We have been searching and comparing various options for service dogs. While we know there are still several companies and organizations that give “free” dogs, we feel going with the current company we have selected is the best choice. Yes, it does cost more than waiting for a free dog, but this is exactly what we are trying to bypass–the waiting period. Many times you must be on a waiting list that can last up to 5 years (average 3 years). Many of them also have age requirements that the child must be 8 years old, sometimes even older, to be awarded a dog. The company we have chosen has no age requirement which will also help bypass the waiting period. Everett will obviously be able to handle the dog on his own as he gets older and, even now at 4, I know he could help with small chores such as feeding and brushing. However, I do not think his age should hinder him from being allowed the dog as I will also be trained to handle the dog as well until he can fully manage on his own.
All those who have donated are in my prayers and have left a bright spot on my heart. We truly still do have good people in the world.