Joshua and Robin Berry, along with their three children were heading home to Houston on July 2 when tragedy struck. The fatal event occurred when the van carrying the family was hit head on. The couple died at the scene but their three small children survived. Peter, 9; Aaron, 8; and Willa, 6; lost their parents. This family’s tragedy has brought media attention across the country. The two older boys are paralyzed below the waist. The young girl, Willa, suffered a broken arm.
In Chicago’s historic Oak Park neighborhood, the boys are in recovery at Shriners Hospital for Children. One of the best hospitals treating children with spinal cord injuries, the medical experts and therapists hope for full recovery.
This story touches the heart of every person. With charitable events and fund raisers, they’re raising money that is desperately needed. It’s estimated they will need $5 to $10 million for ongoing medical care.
Manny’s Deli in Chicago hosted a fundraiser benefit Thursday evening, July 28. The Berry Children’s Fund supports the rehabilitation and growth of these three children.
At Sara Jane Women’s Boutique in Chicago’s Old Town area a portion of proceeds will be donated to the children’s trust. This event at 1343 North Wells St. runs now until 5:00 pm Sunday, July 31.
The Houston’s Jewish community reached out to counterparts in the Oak Park area. The Oak Park Temple assisted to provide furnished apartments at no charge for family members to use while the boys are in recovery. Oak Park News reported the West Suburban Temple is also accepting donations. Checks can be mailed to 1040 N. Harlem Ave.
In his wisdom, Michael Duke, an associate editor for Jewish-Herald Voice, said it quite eloquently. “One of the questions people have asked through this whole thing is, ‘Where was God in this tragedy?’ And rabbis have said, ‘We see God in the response. We see God in how complete strangers are giving up their own time and some pretty significant resources toward making sure these kids have what they need.’”
Hollywood celebrities have rallied together to help support the family. On Twitter, many celebrities tweeted #showyourhearts including Justin Bieber changing his profile page to the hearts avatar.
Volunteers want to help in any way they can. The children’s aunt and uncle have stepped forward as legal guardians. A Facebook campaign is underway. Change your profile picture, Show Your Hearts and donate. The Joshua and Robin Berry Children’s Trust Facebook identifies more ways to donate. With status updates, this campaign is growing, helping the family. Show Your Hearts will facilitate the efforts of anyone who wants to come to the children’s aid.
We need more people like this. People, who are committed to raising public awareness, people who will strengthen the community with help and support. For when one person suffers, we all become affected. When children lose their parents their whole world collapses.
In the video attached, Adam Berry shares a very personal tribute to his older brother Joshua, “Love the ones you love.” Adam inspired to write this song after their father’s death performed it at Joshua’s funeral. It’s a loving tribute, written with a powerful message. For tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
Losing one parent is tough, losing both parents is tragic. Recovery for these children will be a long journey.
Donations can be made on Show Your Hearts website. All donations go to the Joshua and Robin Berry Children’s Trust.