In April, friends of Gretchen and Jim Peters in Marshall, Michigan put up a GoFundMe page that raised $12,000 to help make the home wheelchair accessible for their ten-year-old son. Simon was born with a rare genetic disorder (Pallister-Killian Syndrome or PKS), a diagnosis he shares with just 300-500 people in the world.
The Peters family had no idea that an Indiana businessman who grew up in Marshall had been so moved by their story that he began planning to do some fundraising on his own.
John Wuori, the CEO of Fabric Services in Bristol, learned that the Peters family hoped to one day get an accessible vehicle, but their ongoing expenses currently prohibited that.
Mr. Wuori took the story back to his employees and asked them, ‘How much can we raise to help this family?’
Fifty-five employees committed to giving money out of their paychecks — and for six months these people continued to donate.
A Truck for the Entire Family With 5 Children
On the Tuesday before thanksgiving, Gretchen got a call from her friend, the photographer who set up the GoFundMe page, saying she wanted to come over and get a picture for a company who donated, which didn’t sound unusual.
It was a representative from the company and some employees.
“I was shaking,” she told the Good News Network. “What’s going on?”
Then the tall, mild-mannered CEO introduced himself.
“We want to present you with a check for a thousand dollars,” Wuori said, and segued into, “to help pay for the insurance.” He gestured toward a big, black accessible MV-1 parked in the road.
“This really happened to me!” recalled Gretchen who could hardly believe it, even two weeks later. “It’s so awesome. I went to work the next day. Everybody is just thrilled. I’m just in a fog when people ask, because I am so wowed by this.”
When Gretchen brought her son out and he saw the new vehicle, he “beamed and laughed with delight” as they easily rolled his chair into the van. “It’s a little boy’s way of saying thank you even though he can’t talk,” she told the Battle Creek Enquirer.
It turns out Fabric Services makes parts for the SUV, so Wuori was familiar with the vehicle’s quality. He didn’t know if they could raise the total amount needed to buy the MV-1, which is custom-built for $50,000, but he was determined that the company would do the best they could.
“I’m sharing the story, because I want people to know about these beautiful hearts,” explained Gretchen. “Who does this for people they don’t know — not just once, but for SIX months?”
The Christian-based company, which promotes a lot of volunteer activities among employees, on Thanksgiving celebrated seven years as an employee-owned company. They’ve posted the company’s vision on their website, which reads in part: To be a Corporate Citizen that our Community is proud to host.
With such Thanksgiving charity, the Indiana town of Bristol is not the only community that is proud of Fabric Services.
(READ the story from Battle Creek Enquirer)
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