Andrea Howard Garrett is organizing this fundraiser.
We are Bobby and Andrea Garrett, Alyse is our 16 y/o daughter. We live in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. My husband was raised in this area which is NWA. I was raised in Tulsa, Ok. This is the second marriage for both of us. Bobby and I met at church through the singles Sunday school class which he taught and We both sang in the choir. We each had 1 daughter from our first marriages. We will have been married 20 yrs in June 2018. When we were first married, my daughter, Amber Reeder just graduated HS and was preparing to go to the U of A. Go Razorbacks! (Except when they're playing OU) then it's Boomer Sooner. Bobby's daughter, Ashley Garrett, was a junior here in Siloam Springs. Ashley was a troubled teenager. She lived most of the time with her mother who had trouble controlling her so ended up putting her in Bootcamp. After she graduated from bootcamp she came back to NWA and got pregnant. She smoked and did drugs during her pregnancy and ended up having her baby girl 8 wks prematurely. The baby only weighed 2lbs 13oz and spent 2 months in the NICU. When she came home, the baby started spending 2wks wth us then 2 weeks with Ashley's mother. When she got to be around 18 months old she started crying on the way back to her other grandmothers so we took measures to gain guardianship of her, which we won. We waited until she was 3 to see if Ashley was going to get off drugs. She didn't so we adopted Alyse and started over raising a child. We learned very quickly why God intends for young people to be parents and old people to be grandparents. ;) What an amazing blessing she has been. My 34y/o daughter Amber, passed away 2 yrs ago from complications of Lupus and I don't know how I would have made it through that without Alyse. My husband, Bobby, who is 62, has health problems related to diabetes. He unexpectedly lost his job 3 yrs ago and went into a deep depression that made it hard for him to even get out of bed. I am an RN but have been on disability for 9 yrs due to dibilitating arthritis. I am 61 years old. I loved nursing and miss it alot. Bobby got another fulltime job about 6 weeks ago but not in his chosen profession. He thinks people think he's to old to work in cable tv and telephone installation. It's something he likes and is good at doing. He has close to 40 yrs experience but noone will hire him. So God provided a totally different type of job, working in a chicken plant. I am worried about him because he stands all day long and he is close to losing a very infected toe due to poor lower extremity circulation that is common in diabetics. So in an attempt to lower our living costs we moved into our RV in May 2017. We assumed it wouldn't be for very long and it was paid for therefore less living expenses for us. It was a 1994 model so it wasn't one of these big, beautiful RV's you see people pulling behind their vehicles, but it was the best financial decision at the time. I was at the laundromat (No space for washer/dryer), my husband was working his second job and our 16y/o daughter was home alone. She had fallen asleep reading when suddenly she awoke to the smell of smoke and saw our couch on fire, it jumped over to the chair and then to the stove. The only room between her and the fire was the bathroom. She thankfully had a door to the outside in her bedroom, but it was stuck. She got her pet hedgehog out of her cage and put her in the front pocket of her sweatshirt. Then she called our two weiner dogs, but she still couldn't get the door open so she smashed the door window out with the butt of her BB gun and put each dog out one at a time. She tried body slamming the door one more time and that time it opened and she ran over to the neighbors who then called 911. But by that time the entire RV was engulfed in flames. It was entirely destroyed by the time help came. Nothing could be saved. Thankfully there were no lives lost or any damage to any neighbor's property or to the shed we used as our "walk-in" closet for hanging clothes. Everything else burned up in the fire, including our Christmas presents that we hadn't given to family that we were celebrating with this weekend. People have been kind, loving and caring and alot of them we don't even know. It has been such a blessing! It is going to take a lot of money to start all over from nothing and it is money we do not have. My husband only found another fulltime job a little over a month ago. We have gone through our savings, using it to live on while my husband was out of a job. Unfortunately, our extended family isn't in a financial situation to help. We covet and deeply appreciate your prayers for us to stand firm with the faith and trust that God is in control and that He is protecting every move we make.