Our dear strong friend James Gogggins is one.
A hurricane has now plowed through the Florida community he lives in during the winter months. And in the process it has done damage to that community. At this point we're unsure the extent of the damage and how much further it will go. He relies only on the phone calls and sent pictures from neighbours that are themselves combing through their own debris.
The power has returned to Jim's small community. And with profound relief, we've learned the damage from the hurricane is not extensive!! He will get there as soon as he can to assess both the inside and outside himself.
The reality is that he STILL needs our help.
Jimmy's persevered so much over the past years. There's been a lot of loss. The Great Recession was very unkind to him. But he has stood up to it all. Never has he wavered, still he's there for people when needed.
Naturally when the news reported the hurricane had turned, we realized it seemed it was hell-bent on potentially clipping the small building that contains what is left of Jimmy's worldly possessions. Of course it was. Our hearts sunk. At first we gasped. Then we laughed in disbelief, then we cried. How much more can actually happen to this man? How much more can he face down on his own?
This is what promped us to reach out and create this fund. It really does seem like he's in a constant battle of "Jimmy vs Everything".
Marc and I believe the time has come to ask for help.
(Our back story: Living in King Township while raising our family was where we first met Jimmy. Our sons played for years on the same proud hockey team. And that team, The Knights '87 essentially fostered our extended family with the Goggins'. We've remained life long friends since)
Everyone has their own personal story with Jim.
How many of us, our adult kids, our sports teams, our businesses, neighbours, relatives, and even strangers have been recipient of James Goggins' boundless generosity, the unassuming kindness, incredible hospitality and ever helping hands. It was year in, year out. You know how much he's given. A lot of us accepted and took from his generosity. He enjoyed that so.
It's time to return the favour, pay it back, pay it forward.
We're certain that there have been countless people that know his constant struggle still; people that have truly wanted the chance to repay this good kind sir.
Your opportunity is here and now.
Our hope is that with EVERYTHING Jim has endured, the funds we raise here through his large family of dear friends, will assist him in many ways. Firstly, his travel costs, just ensuring his vehicle is road worthy to make the long trek back to Florida. We'll also have helped to fill his gas tank along the journey. And of course to make any repairs that will ultimately be needed once there. As of now, it appears there will be necessary roof repairs. He's recieved word that water entered and has caused damage to the interior ceiling and then the flooring and some furniture. As well, there's need for building materials to repair the exterior where the storm beat at the building and made some contact. Everything costs. It's just yet another obstacle for him. The difference this time, will be that we'll all have helped him over it.
With such gratitude we look forward to sharing your donations with him as soon as possible. That's the plan.
We thank you all in advance for your contributions, how ever great or small. It is a testimony to Jimmy of the strength of friendship and that REAL gratitude can and will follow you until the day you need it most.
Sharon and Marc Vriend
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