Sometimes all they need is a little hope. Kids with Cancer. Repeat that sentence. Kind of touches you where you don’t really want to feel anything right?
Well, sometimes all they need is a little hope and HomeTown gives those kids and their families just that.
Cancer. Five letters, that’s it. Five letters.
I don’t know of another five letter word that causes so much fear and pain in people. Cancer. I would bet it has affected everyone reading this in one way or another. But, what if you got a call one day from your child’s pediatrician and that ugly word cancer was used in reference to your child? Your child had cancer. Then what? You take off work to have your child go through chemotherapy, have CT scans, MRI’s, blood drawn. You deal with hospitals and doctors you never, ever wanted to visit. Mentally, you are drained. Emotionally you are sick. Financially you may be hurt.
And then you hear it, that familiar rumble of a motorcycle, you look out your window and you see HomeTown Heroes. Today they have come to put a smile on your child’s face, and you are thankful for that. That smile that brings HOPE back into your life.
Hometown Heroes is a charitable organization that provides financial, emotional, and spiritual help for children and their families that are battling cancer. Throughout the year, Hometown Heroes organizes events and fundraisers in order to provide these families with what they need financially. However, it does not just end with monetary support. Each child becomes a part of the Hometown Heroes family. It is like these children now have a second family.
“Hometown Heroes is dedicated to those kids that need some big friends. Our focus is to make these children and their families OUR families. “Big Kids Helping Little Kids” isn’t just a slogan, it’s a promise to make a difference in the lives of some kids that can use our help.”
I first met the Hometown Heroes gang at their Christmas Tree lot on Mallard Creek two years ago. As one of their major fundraisers, the proceeds from the tree lot goes towards Christmas at Walmart for the Hometown Heroes children. The Walmart in Monroe closes early on Christmas Eve and allows Hometown Heroes and the families they support to come in and shop the night away with funds provided by Hometown Heroes. This night, no one is thinking about cancer, their treatments, how they will pay for Christmas dinner, or how they can pay for toys for their children. No. They are allowing themselves to enjoy this moment. To have fun . They are smiling.
None of this is possible without the help of the community, volunteers, or local businesses. I have been writing about HomeTown Heroes for four years. Not because they pay me, not because they asked me to, not for any reason than what they are doing for these children and their families is beautiful. I will continue to write about them until there is no such thing as cancer. You see, on November 29th, 2011 my Mom lost her battle with cancer. Our whole family was devastated and I did not want to celebrate the holidays in 2012. I wanted them to just go away. But the holidays aren’t about me so we went to the Kids Day at the Mallard Creek Christmas Tree lot for Hometown Heroes. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department showed off some pretty spectacular vehicles! There was a bouncy house, several mascots, food, drinks, a helicopter that, and so much more! And I realized something at that moment.
I realized HomeTown Heroes came into my life to show me there is always Hope.
Even when someone loses their battle with cancer, there is always hope that one child will win their fight with cancer, that someone will find the cure for Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphoma, Childhood Cancers, or any other kind of Cancer. There is Hope in coming together as a united front to show cancer, it might win by taking our loved ones, but it can’t win by taking our spirit. We are much stronger as a group of people, than on our own. And HomeTown Heroes shows that everyday to the families they have “adopted”.
The children that Hometown Heroes help have cancer, some of them have terminal cancer. And yet, when you see them with the people of HomeTown Heroes, they are smiling. Their hearts are full of joy. When HomeTown Heroes are around, these families seem lighter, like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. It’s really very heartwarming and magical in a way to see the joy HomeTown Heroes brings to these families. I have learned a lot from HomeTown Heroes. You don’t take any minute for granted, you love people every minute of every day, and you realize that maybe when you smiled at that person in the grocery store and they just gave you a dirty look, that maybe, it is not that they are not nice, it is that deep inside they are hurting. They are truly unable to smile back at you.
But smile anyway, you never know when you just gave someone a glimpse of Hope.
Thank you HomeTown Heroes, for being there for those families when all they need is a little Hope.
HomeTown Heroes holds several fundraising events throughout the year including the James Mclean Golf Tournament, Sugar Plum Cook-Off, Shaggin’ For Dollars, and many more. If you are interested in finding out more about HomeTown Heroes and their special events throughout the year, you can find them at www.HTHeroes.org or at www.Facebook.com/hometownheroes.monroenc.