The Habersham Foundation Academy held a raffle to benefit three local families in need, with nearly 30 local businesses supporting the cause.
The three families, the Speed family, the Crunkleton family and the Roberts family, have all faced tragedies over the past year that have affected them financially. Foundation Academy daycare, where families currently have children enrolled or were enrolled before tragedy struck, wanted to do something to help them in times of need.
“We’re just reaching out,” said Habersham Foundation Academy director Sthar Trotman. “Everyone wants to lend a hand, especially in the last two years that we’ve all had, so that we can reach out and help your neighbor, reach out and help someone in need, and just show some people working together for a good cause.”
The Speed family
Lauren Speed says her husband Matt was the kind of man who would do anything to help someone in need, and misses him everyday. Matt passed away in February due to COVID-19, leaving behind his loving family and new baby McLaren.
“[Losing Matt] was very traumatic,” Speed said. “We were extremely happy, he was my best friend.”
She says losing her husband was an incredibly painful experience, but the support she received from Foundation Academy was a constant in a time of turmoil. Speed’s two older children went to Foundation Academy, and she says sending McLaren there was “a no-brainer”.
“People ask how you’re doing, and I’ve grown to hate that question. People don’t really know what to say, but they ask the question,” Speed said. I’m glad to see you’, ‘What can I do for you?’, ‘How can I help you?’, and that’s great. I definitely feel a connection with them and I’m supported by them.
Her husband’s death created a strain on Speed’s family, causing them to lose half of their income. Trotman says she hopes the raffle can help with that.
The Crunkleton Family
Cayla and Josh Crunkleton woke up in the early hours nearly a year ago to a phone call that changed their world: one of their adopted sons had a biological half-brother who had just been born. They knew instantly that this new baby was also their son and headed over to bring him home. They had no idea what challenges their new baby, Hudson, would face.
Baby Hudson was born prematurely and had to be resuscitated multiple times, and the Crunkletons soon learned that he had been exposed to drugs and alcohol while in utero.
Hudson now faces a host of chronic health issues, including developmental delays, growth retardation, sleep apnea, bone age delays and prenatal dysphasia. He sees ten different specialists, as well as his pediatrician and his surgery team.
Looking after Hudson has become a full-time job, forcing Cayla to quit her job as a special education teacher. They lost half of their income.
“My husband has now taken on the role of providing for all of us when usually it was a two income home,” Cayla says. “We are, unfortunately, on one vehicle at the moment, so it has also been a bit difficult to ensure that all doctor appointments work around his [Josh’s] Work timetable.”
Cayla says that when she and her husband heard about the Foundation’s raffle, they were moved to tears. Due to the expense and schedule of the family, they had to refrain from receiving daycare at Foundation Academy, but the academy still takes care of them.
“They still care about us, even though we had to step down,” Cayla says. “We are just blessed. . . and then just to know that our city, [who] don’t know us, [wants to help]– we’re big enough that not everyone knows everyone, but still small enough to have that hometown feeling where people support each other. . . I mean, really, we’re just, we’re grateful. Not only do they meet medical needs and daycare visits, but they help keep families afloat.
The Roberts Family
When one-year-old Sarah Roberts passed out during a diaper change, her parents, Corey and Ranae, knew something was seriously wrong. After several hospital visits, a blood transfusion and several tests, his medical team finally made a diagnosis – a diagnosis that no one expected.
They found a mass in Sarah’s stomach and determined that Sarah, who was 2 years old on the day of her diagnosis, had stomach cancer. It’s rare, and doctors thought it started developing when she was a developing embryo, before the placenta formed around her.
Sarah is halfway through her chemotherapy and has had stomach surgery to remove the part of her stomach where a large tumor had grown. Her doctors hope that after she finishes her chemotherapy, what remains of the tumor will shrink enough that they can either remove it or the threat will go away.
“It’s been pretty crazy; it’s the last thing we expected,” says Corey Roberts, Sarah’s father. “At first we were sad, but Ranae and I clung to our faith and trust in God. We had peace, we prayed for it. We were really sad, but it didn’t take long for us to come to terms with the situation and realize that it was out of our hands.
His family clings to their faith and feels grateful that their community wants to support them financially as they face the stress of expensive medical bills.
“This [the funds] it will take some of the financial stress off us and allow us to focus on loving our little girl and making her better,” says Corey. “It will help that way and really reduce a lot of stress.”
A raffle for a good cause
The goal is to sell 1,500 tickets to support these families in need. One winner will take it all – prizes include a Yeti Cooler filled with gift cards, gift baskets and more from local businesses like All About Monore, Farm and Lavish, Bigg Daddy’s, Erin London, Blue Willow Floral, Brownies by Faith , Chicago’s Pizza and many, many more.
TO SEE THE COMPLETE LIST OF COMPANIES, CLICK HERE.
Raffle tickets are $25 each and go on sale Monday, May 2. A winner will be drawn on May 27.
You can buy tickets at participating raffle companies or through the Foundation Academy. To purchase from Foundation Academy, you can call the daycare at 706-894-1529 or contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.