Like a lot of teenage boys, Cody Andrews wanted a bicycle for his birthday. But the gregarious 16-year-old’s special needs therapy bike came with a hefty price tag. So the Southeast Texas community of Nederland banded together and put on a link sale to raise the funds, selling sausage links and other refreshments.
The event was going great. Food and drinks were aplenty and organizers were well on the way to meeting their fundraising goal of $2,034. But then things hit a minor snag.
“People were donating like crazy. Links were being donated by different local restaurants, individuals were donating chips and drinks that we could sell and then the weather just totally poured down on us,” recounted Leanne Todd, one of the organizers. “I thought, ‘Is this really God’s plan if the weather is acting like this?’ I was really starting to doubt myself.”
As organizers grappled with the downpour and people ran for cover, some began to wonder whether they’d raise enough money to buy the bicycle. Around the same time, Monte Osburn, executive director of the Mostyn Moreno Foundation — an education non-profit founded by Houston attorneys Steve and Amber Mostyn — happened to stumble on the link sale’s Facebook event page.
Shortly thereafter, Osburn was in his car heading from the Foundation’s headquarters in Houston toward the link sale in Nederland.
“He drove two hours in the blistering rain to give us a check for $500 himself,” Todd said. “He took it upon himself to just come down — not send us a check or deposit it into the account, but to make that personal trip and to shake our hands and let us give him a hug. And he took some links with him when he went.”
In the end, the fundraiser didn’t just meet the $2,034 goal — it more than doubled it, bringing in a whopping total of $5,800, thanks in part to the generosity of organizations like Circle of Hope and the Mostyn Moreno Foundation. With the extra funds, the Andrews family was able to buy new leg braces for Cody and save for additional physical therapy equipment.
“It was just amazing. It gives me hope to know that the future doesn’t necessarily have to be so grim for my child,” Todd said. “Just knowing there’s people and foundations like that out there that care, that really care about these children.”