Back in May, we posted a story about a little boy with SOX2 Amophthalmia Syndrome. Amongst the many physical and cognitive handicaps that accompany the rare genetic disorder, Griffin was born without eyes.
Griffin is one of a set of triplets, and the family had outgrown their current means of transportation. They needed a cavernous minivan with wheelchair ramp to get Griffin to school and to his physical therapy. Griffin was also prone to overheating, and needed better rear climate controls.
The Chive Fund stepped up. I flew to Indiana to surprise the Stein family with a new Chrysler Town and Country minivan. The Chrysler could easily be retrofitted with a wheelchair ramp for Griffin, and I promised to have one installed shortly.
A week later I posted the story of my trip to meet the Stein Family, and happened to include a photo of the Stein’s home in Royal Oak, Michigan. The peanut-sized home only had two bedrooms, the triplets all shared a single room. The kitchen was so small that when the entire family sat down at the dinner table, they couldn’t open the refrigerator. The parallels to Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol abounded.
It was the singular image of that small house that would prompt one of the most notable crowd-sourced charity acts in the history of theCHIVE – or anywhere else for that matter.
The day the story was posted I received thousands of emails from Chivers who insisted the Steins needed a bigger home, and that they were ready to help build it.
I recalled that Griffin’s father, Heston, had told me of his plans to expand the home. Their backyard was big enough to accommodate an expansion. Heston planned to blow out the kitchen’s west wall and build another 500 square foot handicap accessible bedroom and bathroom. Hesten expected it would take 2 years to save the $30,000 needed for the renovation.
I had Heston create a GoFundMe page, and I launched the ‘Stein Family Sequel’ the very next day with a goal of $30,000. Within 20 minutes theCHIVERS had throttled past the $30,000 goal, at which point the donations began to accelerate even further. The Chivers tend to shine at times like this, priding themselves in their ability to pulverize goals.
And pulverize the goal they did. A day later, the Chivers had raised a staggering $167,000. The Stein family was stunned.
Since then, much has changed in the Stein’s world, and this is the first of many updates. Last weekend, Chive Charities‘ Community Manager Angie Cone flew to Michigan to visit the Stein family. She went to see how much life had changed for the Steins, and to offer any support she could on behalf of theCHIVE community. Needless to say, life has changed for the better…
Meeting the Stein family for the first time in April.
Their humble home.
Shattering the goal.
Here’s the update from Angie:
I went to visit the Stein family to see how the donations from Chive Nation have been put to good use, and to hear about what life has been like since their Chive Fund Story went live!
The Stein’s talked about how humbled they are by the outpouring of generosity by Chivers, and they continue to receive daily support and encouragement through their Facebook Page. I sat down with the Stein’s to discuss both the Chive Fund donation of the new handicap accessible van and ramps as well as the donations to their Gofundme account for home renovations.
The Stein’s explained the two options they had regarding the new home. One option was to put the Chivers’ donations towards a new home, and the second was to stay in their current home and completely renovate it with the necessary handicap accessible accommodations.
The restrictions for buying a home are two fold: first, they needed to find a home in Griffin’s school district to stay with his amazing teachers. Second, to stay close by Krissy’s parents who are vital in helping to aid her with the triplets when Heston has to travel for work. After searching and coming up with nothing special, they went back to the emails that flooded in after the story.
One email that really caught their eye was from Scott Parker from Nest Architectural Design in Denver, Colorado. Heston reached out to Scott, and has been amazed at how talented and detailed he is in planning their renovation. The Stein’s are positive he will make a home that fits their family’s unique needs. In addition to the design provided by the Nest Crew, they shared the story with Pella Windows who have committed to providing all of the exterior doors and windows for the renovation, including replacing the existing ones so they all match!
If that wasn’t enough already, Chris Davidson (father of theCHIVE’s GM Chris Jr.) has offered to help with local construction contacts to ensure that they get the best possible discounts, and that Griffin’s home is up to the highest of standards. After talking to the Stein’s about their new home and getting to hang out with Griffin and his two best friends, siblings Logan and Caylee, it was time for Preston from Preston Chrysler in Novi to deliver their van complete with its new ramp courtesy of the Chive Fund! Thanks so much to Advantage Mobility for getting us a great deal on the ramp.
The whole family went out to test the new ramp and show me how easy it is to transport Griffin. Krissy mentioned: “It’s harder to get Logan and Caylee settled in the car now than Griff!”
You can tell it’s the Stein’s goal in life to make their children happy. This was truly inspiring to see. The Stein family is already looking forward to sending me updates as their house renovations continue. We have more surprises in store, so stay tuned!
None of this could have been possible without the amazing Chivers who donate to the Chive Fund. Your contributions have allowed us to canvass America to find the orphaned causes who need our help the most – and to get them the help they need immediately. Whenever I’m at Chive Meetups, I always see a few of those green ribbon Chive Charity tees and I’m so grateful for what you’ve helped us accomplish. Y’all are always the first to get blindsided by my sisters’ hugs. They’re cereal huggers, it can’t be helped.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed the uptick of charity stories on theCHIVE recently. TheCHIVE’s flash charity model is now being studied at colleges and universities across the country. Last week gave many of you a glimpse at the sheer scale of our charitable ambitions. Chive Charities will be the lasting legacy of theCHIVE and our donors to the Chive Fund are leading the charge. Thank you. Read all about the Chive Fund RIGHT HERE.
Chive Charities just released their first newsletter. Subscribe and get all the inspirational updates RIGHT HERE. You can also receive updates on Chive Charitiesright here.
Thanks to Angie for taking the time to spend the weekend with the Steins and bring us this amazing update. Angie runs
Chive Charities’ Twitter Machine. Stop in and say hello to the awesome girl!