North Central Florida Gives Big for the
The call went out to North Central Florida and you answered in a big way for the big give. Back in March we told you about some military familes that were struggling to recover after making sacrifices in the war in Iraq. All the donations came together Sunday when people made a difference-- for not only the two familes, but a whole lot more.
We started out with $10,000 from ABC in the spirit of "Oprah's Big Give." Then with the help of our business partners we matched it and it grew to $20,000. Then it was up to people in the community, and boy did they come through.
Just over four weeks ago we told you the story of the Mixson family from Williston. Their son Catlin had his legs amputated after an attack in Iraq. We also told you about the Lloyd family. It was a shot, not from enemy fire, but a small pox vaccination that crippled their lives.
Two families who struggled, two families our community was determined to help. "To have that many people out there that care and give it's amazing," says Shawn Lloyd.
It all came together at Golden Ocala Country Club who also donated everything to us in the spirit of The Big Give. That was just the beginning of the giving. Businesses and individuals gave donations for a silent and live auction including everything from trips to autographed Gator memorabila.
When the Lloyd family arrived they were shocked at the response. "I asked Shawn is why do all these people care about us like they don't even know them, it's unbelievable it blew me away," says Angela Lloyd.
The suprises were not over. The Mixson's stunned everyone by bringing their son Catlin who was home for the weekend from the hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He saw in person how the community rallied to help his family.
"I believe it's gonna make a big impact on my parents," says Catlin Mixson. "I still have a lot of therapy to go through but they're going through a lot of stress with me being gone and always worried about me. I believe it's going to have an impact...definitely."
Our ABC "Oprah's Big Give" North Central Florida did what we wanted, change lives and make an impact in the community.
"I just couldn't believe the number of people in the community, the organizations, businesses, individuals who felt the call to reach out and help," says John Mixson.
"We're very overwhelmed by the love and support and we just want to thank everyone so much," says Karon Mixon.
Thanks to Harley Davison of Ocala the money kept pouring in. Now we can help other military families as well.
"We do know quite a few people out there that could still use help so it's a good program," says Angela Lloyd. "I hope I see it keep going on and i hope one day i can repay just half of what we've been given."
We raised more than $56,000. Plus Catlin got engaged over the weekend so he received a honeymoon trip as a gift. And the Lloyds oldest son was offered a scholarship for college.
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