Both chiefs of the two local fire departments expressed gratitude to members of this community for their rally around the department’s efforts to raise money for the family of a Lumberton firefighter.
The two departments combined to work intersections during a Boot Drive Saturday from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. and many members returned to the Night Out to solicit further donations to help the family of Jarrod and Meagan Hendren, whose twin sons, 14 month-old Luke and Logan, have been diagnosed with Gaucher’s Disease, which is incurable. At the Night Out effort, they were joined by members of the Parkton Fire Department.
The Boot Drive and the appeal during the Night Out were successful, raising $3,672.50 during the day and $707 during the evening for a total of $4,379.50.
“I’m proud of the people of St. Pauls,” said Big Marsh Chief Alex Inman. “This truly is The Little Town With The Big Heart, to give so generously to someone they’ve never met or even seen. The last report I had is that the people from this area collected more money than any other community in the county, and the Boot Drive was held county-wide.
“After a long, hot and tiring day’s work, it is a tremendous joy to do what we did,” Inman said.
St. Pauls Chief Evans Jackson echoed those words of gratitude, saying “People here are just unbelievable when it comes time to help someone, and I am sure that the Hendren family will humbly appreciate that generosity. We do.
“Anyone with healthy children should be thankful and they should be thankful that they are in a position to donate to a cause like this.”
Inman said that words cannot adequately express the feelings that many members of both departments had during and after the emotional fundraising efforts.
“I’d like to try to thank all the Big Marsh and St. Pauls firefighters for their day-long work for the Hendren family,” he said, “and also Parkton Fire Department for helping during the Night Out. They turned that money over to us to include in our total, instead of adding it to their Boot Drive total.
“This really was a combined effort and the community rallied around the two departments. I appreciate all the hard work and all the donations that everyone provided. Without your help this could not have happened.
“And,” he said, “I’m sure that the family will appreciate the love, concern and support even more than the money we were able to raise on their behalf. St. Pauls cares.”
Gaucher’s Disease is a rare genetic disorder that effects the liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and brain of children diagnosed with it. Most children die before they reach their second birthday.
Treatments that slow the progression of the disease are extremely expensive, with bimonthly visits to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill costing $10,000 per child per visit. There are also many other related costs and expenses, and both parents have either been forced to stop working or to work only part-time in order to care for and spend time with their children.
If you would like to donate to the Hendren family, please contact either Evans Jackson or Alex Inman.