In times of true desperation, with a looming threat of losing your shelter, health, and the basic fundamental necessities of dignified life, it is crucial to know that close friends and people who you've had a profound impact on will have your back.
Our good friend and colleagues, Steve Hetrick and his wife, are in exactly this crisis right now. I've been speaking with Steve over the last few months as the ground has been shifting from under their feet. The despair, panic, and fear that has been increasingly evident in his voice has prompted action, and we need to help.
For those that don't know Steve well, he was the Chief Instructor at Skydive Chambersburg for 8 years, owner of the AFF operation at Maytown for 5 years, and then AFF Manager at Skydive Orange for 15 years. While I was the manager at Skydive Orange, Steve was running the student program. I can personally attest to his passion for skydiving, focus on safety, and the profoundly positive impact he had on his students and staff, myself included. Steve has mentored thousands of skydivers and guided hundreds if not thousands of us through the process of becoming instructors and evaluators. Steve has over 9,000 jumps, which many of you old schoolers would remember, but Steve's health has kept him on the ground for the last 8 years of so. He's touched a lot of lives and has nothing but pride for the accomplishments of his skydiving family. Last night I was speaking to David Wybenga, one of Steve's mentees who also helped motivate me to put this fundraiser together. He fondly remembers the pride and emotion in Steve's voice as he awarded him his 1,000 jump wings. There are thousands of people with memories just like this. Pivotal, life changing memories. If you're one of those people, it's time help our friend in this time of need.
This crisis is a perfect storm scenario that nobody should have to endure without support. Due to Steve's severe health issues, he has been unable to find a suitable job. His wife is in the same boat, unable to work, and has had several recent major surgeries. Between the medical expenses, the mortgage, and no income from not being able to work, they are down to the bottom of the bucket and the bank is imminently foreclosing on their modest home. Even if the bank does foreclose, they wouldn't even have enough to move the contents of their home, nor have another place to even rest their heads. Oh, and did I mention his cat has cancer? This whole thing is a dark storm cloud hanging over their heads.
Steve is hopeful that once their issues can be mitigated they can get back to work and dig themselves back out, but right now that's not possible and they're up against it. I really want to see them healthy, back to work, and living their best lives again, but this is a critical turning point for that being possible for them.
Time is of the essence. Steve has been embarrassed and hesitant to accept aid, but now with the bank chomping at the bit, they have less than 2 weeks to get back out in front of this and save their house and pay off their outstanding medical bills.
I genuinely hope you are willing to give back to Steve what he has given to so many of you. Whether you can swing $20, $200, or $2,000, please give whatever you can to help them stay sheltered and get back to good health.
Contribute, share, reach out to Steve and offer emotional support, hopefully all of the above. Thank you for your support, and I know I speak for Steve in thanking you from the bottom of his heart!