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…