The sun is rising over Grayson and it’s going to be a BEAUTIFUL day… not because The Weather Channel says so (because it definitely doesn’t) but rather because of what is happening all over Grayson today. Last night I stopped by Hail Mary’s for my next installment of Grayson Friday Nights (look for that piece later next week!), but stumbled upon a different kind of story that made not only my evening, but inspired me as well.
I’d love to share what was shared with me last night with all of you… because sharing is caring and if you don’t know, you can’t help. I met a great group of friends that were getting ready for today’s event, the 7th Annual Charity Golf Event, to benefit the Grayson’s Children’s Fund. 100% of the proceeds earned from this event go directly to Grayson children in need. I feel like that bears repeating…100% to Grayson children in need. If you want to talk about true local community and charity, you really have to look no further.
You can read more about the event itself by clicking [here], but what I want to talk to you about is this amazing friend-group and their invaluable contributions to the community – and most importantly, how you can get involved.
They take me back to 2005, where they describe themselves as just some guys that sat around and watched some football. Regular guys who realized that they had the opportunity to “do something killer”. For them, it was a very personal cause; one of the friends in the group was once a Grayson child in need. It was really from this that these friends went from guys watching football to true local heroes; it was from this story the Grayson Children’s Fund was born.
One of my favorite parts of this conversation was the WAY they talked about the charity setup. The give to Grayson Children via Grayson Elementary School. There is a vetting process, but at the end of the day they wanted to stress… there is no judgement, there is no-one not worthy; if you have a need, they wanted to bridge whatever gap that was. It’s really all about the children, equalizing social economics and ensuring those that don’t have…. have. You don’t have your required school supplies on your first day? Don’t have a backpack? Don’t have christmas presents to open on Christmas morning? Don’t have groceries to fill your cabinets and stomachs? Yes, you do. Just ask, and you shall receive. It’s local community truly giving back, and in a big way.
The fund shared one story of a special needs child that wanted a treehouse. That was all that was on his list. The group had a list of vendors on board and ready to go with lumber, volunteers, etc but unfortunately they house this family was renting would not allow a treehouse to be built. Instead they got together and put together a special get-away in the backyard, just for him. Because that was the need, that was the ask, and they weren’t there to ask questions, but rather there to fill that need – no judgement, no hesitation.
You’ll notice I haven’t used even one name in this post, and that is intentional. This incredible friend-group wants to remain anonymous, so we can instead focus on the charity and the need and not on the individuals who are the driving force behind these great works. They don’t want “thank you’s” or letters, or payback, but rather wish any recipient instead helps others when they’re able. Give back when you can. Be inspired. Pay it forward.
Just because they want to stay anonymous doesn’t mean it always happens… they told me about a letter they once received from a recipient of the fund. The emotion they felt from what was said in that letter was palpable and moving. This is a group of local Graysonites that don’t just care, they do something about it. They host wrap parties to wrap all the christmas gifts for the children. As they’re getting older, they’re involving their children in the shopping, wrapping, and drop-offs to ensure the Children’s Fund continues to be a legacy that is in place long beyond their time.
Today’s charity golf event is one of many events that directly benefit the Children’s Fund. This event is 100% volunteers and donations – from the food, to the vendors, to the participants. Each one of them is donating their time, money and services to ensure that 100% of the proceeds go to people in the community who need it. I was able to chat with one of the participants, Kathleen Richardson, and I asked “why did you get involved”? She replied:
“The thing I love about Grayson is that it is all about sense of community. I have lived here for 10 years and it still has that small town feel yet you are only a few miles from excellent restaurants and shopping. I love that this town really comes together to support each other and great causes. It is great to get together with great friends in the community and all come together for a great cause… and a really fun time! It truly is Gwinnett’s best kept secret…shhh don’t tell”.
How can you argue with that? Great friends. Great cause. Great time. Helping Grayson.
Another event in which the Children’s Fund is a direct recipient is the Grayson Blues and Brews fest (among a few others). This group also supports another charity “Gimme Shelter”as well, which aids victims of domestic violence.
The Children’s Fund does not have a direct website at this time, still just a small group of friends doing good in the community, but you can still reach out if you want to help. Whether it be it donating time, money, or services, any and all help is welcome. Contact Hail_Mary@att.net for more information on how you can be part of this 10+ year initiative that has managed to fly under the radar for way too long.