Support AJ Wallace

A very upstanding and loving family has been put through a terrible ordeal; it has affected them all in so many different ways. Of course there's the expense of hiring a lawyer to go to court with them to represent their son; an expense that with nine children and four in college, they are trying to figure out how to afford. I've been flooded with emails from so many wonderful people, most of whom I don't even know, wanting to reach out and offer support; both emotionally and financially to this family. All the funds collected from this page will go to help cover current and future lawyer costs this family will encounter.


Here is their story:

The morning of December 19 began like all others; a father took his two children to school and because one of the children has Autism, they get walked to their classrooms each day. Since their older brother, Andrew, was home from college on Christmas break, the children wanted him to walk in with them, and so he did. I should stop here and describe this young man; Andrew, or AJ, is 6'2", has longer hair, and as is the trend with so many young men today, he has a full beard. We describe him as our Gentle Giant; his manners are impeccable, he is well rounded, very well liked in his community, and at every opportunity he shows kindness and concern for people he comes in contact with. On this morning all four entered the school, the father and older brother signed themselves in, and they proceeded to the children's classes. Along the way, a teacher recognized AJ from a football picture that had been in the paper and chatted with him. As they were leaving, they signed themselves out, held the door open for a family entering the school, got in the car, and they went on their way. It all seemed so normal; they had no idea that a child reported to her teacher that a stranger in the hall had made threatening comments. Just a short time later, the police arrived at their home, arrested AJ, took him to jail, released his name and picture to the media, and so began a day that he will remember for the rest of his life; a day that could have an effect on the rest of his life, and a day that has changed his perspective on how quickly a reputation can be scarred. Will his scholarship be affected and keep him from finishing his education, will he still be able to play the game of football, will people recognize him for all the good things he has done or will they only remember him as the "burly, long haired man with a bushy beard" who put schools in a small community on lock-down because of a child's accusation of threats. In this day and time, we all recognize the need to make our children aware of strangers and we know the tentative position that schools and public places are in regarding how they deal with situations; but when a mistake like this is made, do we recognize the damage that can be done by publicizing "facts" before they are proven to be true, and have we done away with "innocent until proven guilty"? I don't know how you repair this upstanding young man's reputation, but hopefully the same media sources that were so quick to jump on the "bad guy" story, will be just as quick to give an equal amount of time and press to restoring this young man's faith in our judicial system and in repairing the damage that has been done. Of course "good news" doesn't have the journalistic "hook" that sensational, bad news does, so my guess is that equal time and reports will be slow in coming. A very upstanding and loving family has been put through a terrible ordeal; it has affected them all in so many different ways. There's the fear that parents have when suddenly they are out of control regarding their child and what may happen to him. There's the overwhelming sadness of the younger children to think that anyone believes their big brother, who shows nothing but love to them, could even possibly be thought to be a "bad person". And of course there's the expense of hiring a lawyer to go to court with them to represent their son; an expense that with nine children and four in college, they are trying to figure out how to afford. The strange twist to this is that just a few days ago, while grocery shopping, they had the opportunity to "pay it forward", when they paid for a man's milk who was behind them in line. When my daughter called and we talked about that, she was so pleased that number one, the man appreciated it, number two, a lady in the next line witnessed their kindness and gave coupons to the person behind her, and number three, her family learned the domino effect of kindness by one simple deed. Now she has to teach them another lesson, how to forgive and move beyond unfortunate circumstances that happen in their lives."

Donations

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  • Marlene Brown 
    • $50 
    • 87 mos
  • Hollie Zellmer 
    • $50 
    • 88 mos
  • Darla Anderson-Lynch 
    • $20 
    • 88 mos
  • Ashley Martell 
    • $50 
    • 88 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 89 mos
See all

Organizer

Jayme Renee 
Organizer
New Richmond, WI
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