Wendall Needs Us To Serve Him Now!
THE WENDALL GILL APPRECIATION PARTY
Do you know Wendall? Has he served you over the years? Well, we want to show him how much he is loved.
And you are INVITED to join us on this important occasion. He surely wants to thank everyone for their incredible generosity and I believe he needs to know how important he is to us! Here are the details.
The Wendall Gill Appreciation Party!!!
Hosted by The Southland Christian Church
2349 Richmond Road
Lexington, KY 40502
When? Saturday, October 20th, from 11AM - 1PM
City Barbecue is bringing us delicious lunch FREE of Charge to you (courtesy of Mike Tewell & Toyota of Frankfort).
If you need further information, call Todd @: 859.533.5195
The "Well Wishes Card Campaign"
If you cannot attend the party, but know Wendall, I invite you to send him a condolence or appreciation card to tell him how much you love him. Please send them soon. Mail your cards and correspondence to;
c/o Todd Oldfield
3408 Crimson King Court
Lexington, KY 40517
(Thank you for inspiring this idea Michelle Adams)
WENDALL'S TRAGIC STORY
This is a bit of a difficult story for me. I swear I cannot do this man justice, but, I want to try. This page is about a terrible loss. I learned of this and it just simply broke my heart. It's concerning one of the most gentle souls I have ever known and I just think people need to know this man's story and will want to help him as I do.
I met Wendall in June, 1978 when I went to work for my first job; McDonald's on Richmond Road, in Lexington, Kentucky. Nearly my first day I met Wendall; the man that kept the lobby of the store clean. If ever you have been in this particular McDonald's I am sure you have seen him.
Wendall is quiet, reserve, unobtrusive... and even meek. He goes about his work, taking care of the people. The coffee is poured; trash is removed. Wendall keeps this store as clean as any store around. I guarantee if Wendall is on duty, you will have a nice place to have your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wendall was already roughly 45 when I met him more than 40 years ago. He was my co-worker. Today he is still there taking care of the people at age 85.
I saw him recently when I stopped in for breakfast. I have always looked for him; all these years. When he walked over, It took a split second for me to see something was wrong, but just a split second. It was pretty obvious. He was sullen. He was empty. His eyes nearly tearing up.
WE JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN PEOPLE'S LIVES
"Wendall, how are you?" I asked. With two boys watching the conversation from a nearby table Wendall paused and told me he had lost his wife recently, suddenly. Boom! He had told me of his wife Della (age 83) many times in causal conversation. They were happily married for more than 68 years (almost unheard of today). Della was his swan; his soul. Wendall is devastated; lost; totally empty now. Nothing is left (but he still has to be strong).
Della died just not long ago; late August, 2018.
This is fresh. It just happened. The story gets worse though. It turns out that she and Wendall had run some errands early on of Wendall's few days off and they stopped by the McDonald's Wendall works in for an early meal and the poor, sweet lady went to the rest room, and had a stroke caused from a bursted aneurysm while in there. Paramedics were called and they came. They ran her to the closest hospital, and she managed to live only a day or two; but never woke and died in late August.
Think about this for a moment.
This is the hardest part of the story to me. Wendall has to keep working right there in the store, walking past this restroom, cleaning it daily. This is what the man does. This memory of what happened in there will never leave him I fear. And, he cannot leave the store. He has no money. He has to keep going... he has to keep strong. He has to keep working. I cannot even imagine the torture.
PART 2 - WENDALL HAS TO BE STRONG FOR HIS BOYS. HE NEEDS OUR HELP.
Even now, the story is going to even take another difficult turn.
Wendall has two grandsons that he and Della adopted years ago; both of who are special needs people. Wendall is a father now in essence. I did not know them, but both of them were sitting right there in the store as Wendall was telling me the story. I saw them there but I had no idea they were related to Wendall. The oldest; John; is 33 years old. He has Autism. The youngest, Justin; a sweet kid appears to be 12, but in fact is 20 years old. He suffers from what is called Infant Alcohol Syndrome. This is an illness brought on by being born to an alcoholic mother.
John Columbia (33) Justin Gill (20) Wendall Gill (85) and Todd (me)
Della and Wendall were to basically parents again. They planned this out. Did all the legal work. They adopted these two boys who are "men" now. And now Wendall is charged with taking care of them on his own.... at 85, having just lost his wife of 68 years. Wendall has no money. With a small life insurance policy for Della, they scraped together barely enough to bury her. To add insult to injury, I have recently learned that they had plots they were paying for in a cemetery that I guess has been a part of some type of scam. She is buried there but the company that they were paying vanished with the money that was left for a headstone (more on that later).
So I thought I would post the story on Facebook. Well, the comments and the ideas have been amazing. I am running with every good idea you can share with me. You have done so much. I am overwhelmed.
LETS BLESS HIM IN A SMALL WAY.
I THOUGHT; would it not be nice if we did something to show him (that despite this terrible tragedy;;despite all this heart ache; despite the fear of the unknown) that we love him and we want to serve HIM! I began this goal with one goal... but the support has been so overwhelming that I have decided to ask for some more help.
My Goals for This Campaign
(DONE!!!!!!) ------ FIRST, I would really love to see if we could raise enough money to pay off his van; the vehicle he uses with his boys. He owed $27,200 and I am pleased to say that he paid it off this past week due to YOUR generosity.
(DONE!!!!!!) ------ SECOND, I would like to see if we could raise extra month to get Della a nice headstone. I have been told that one of his biggest woes is the fact tat he is not able to even mark where her grave is. No one knows where she is even buried. I AM SO HAPPY TO REPORT THAT ONE MAN HAS STEPPED FORWARD TO PAY FOR THIS. We have a headstone marker picked out. Will have that ordered this coming week.
(DONE!!!!!)------ THIRD, as I have told before, he has two cars on which he makes payments. He has since made arrangements to turn the more expensive car in to the bank. Della will not need a car to drive. He is still making payments both of them. He owed far more on it than that car is worth. Near as I can calculate, I think he is probably $13,000 upside down in that vehicle. I do not want him to worry about this money. My goal is to raise that money for him with this campaign. I am pleased to report that we have made plans to pick up that car at Park Federal Credit Union in Lexington, and pay it off. I would like to add that the people at PFCU have been amazing to work with. They even took $2,000 off the balance of the loan to help Wendall. When did you ever hear of a bank doing such a thing. I am so pleased about this.
FORTH, I would like to pay off Wendall's house. The man owes about $74,000 on his house so I have added that amount to his "wish list". I want to pay if off. He is 85. He needs to retire. He really needs to worry about the boys... and not does he have enough money to live off of in his McDonalds job. I want him to quit worrying and have some time to grieve. He is so sad. And, once he is gone, I want to know that these boys have a place to live.
I also want to thank the man from the state that has stepped into to help the boys, to make sure they have all the services they are eligible for.
THE BIG PICTURE IS I WANT HIM TO BE ABLE TO RETIRE
I guess really my hope is for Wendall is this. He is 85. He really needs to retire. Tomorrow is promised for none of us. He really needs to spend time with his boys and just heal... and not worry about where they will get their next meal from. By accomplishing these three goals, we will be taking $1,200 a month off his bills (his two car payments). He only earns about $600 a month at McDonalds. So it is possible that his meager income will allow him to retire. Even if he chooses not to, at least he could. He should not be worrying right now about where is every dollar going to come from. That is my prayer.
He is so hurt. If you drop by McDonald's, and see him there... say hello. Tell him how sorry you are for his loss, and how much you love him and how much you pray for his strength, and peace.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL: WE ARE SUCCEEDING IN A HUGE WAY!
This is all God; not Todd.... I was just a tool. YOU people are the ones making this a "God thing" to me. When I began this page, I set a conservative goal of $1,000 for the page. Then the Herald-Leader article came and the community responded in such a big way. I raised the goal to $2,500, then $5,000... and the money kept flowing in. I knew we needed to do more. I just did not dream it was possible. So, I up'd the goal to $27,200 to pay off the van. That was my first big hope. Wow. That was raised fully by Sunday, 10/7. I told the family I am not done. I want to get Wendall out of the other vehicle, and now, we week later we have done that. He is out of both vehicles (by this coming Wednesday), and you generous people have already allowed me to raise maybe another $10K to put towards Wendall's house.
What a blessing you are. This poor man and his boys are going to be so blessed I think with another $55K we can pay off his house and he can rest and grieve and take care of the boys.
God Bless! you ALL!
MEDIA, ARTICLES, ETC
If you would like to read the story that the Herald-Leader ran on Wendall;
click >>>>> Herald-Leader Article
The Washington Post wrote an article as well. To view it;
click >>>>> The Washington Post Article
ACCOUNTING FOR FUNDS
$27,200 -- Van - Paid off. DONE
$ 3,500 -- Headstone - DONE OUTSIDE of CAMPAIGN
$13,000 -- Jeep - Paid off. SOON to be DONE
$74,000 -- House - Paid off. With prayers
$ 1,000 -- Wendall's Party & Other Necessary Expense
$115,200 Total Needed to Be Raised
1 - Thank God for Park Community Federal Credit Union. They have been so nice to Wendall. Where as we thought we were going to have to raise $38,000+ to pay off his Jeep, it ended up being only $32,000. This is because they worked with the extended warranty people and got them cancelled, and out of the goodness of their heart's to Wendall, shaved more than $2,000 off the balance of his loan. Just because they cared. Amazing.
2 - Thank God also for my friend Mike Tewell of Frankfort Toyota. He stepped in and gave us a fair price for the Jeep, sight unseen. I have known Mike for more than 30 years. Thank you, Mike. Frankfort Toyota rocks.
3 - and on the other side of the coin, I must tell you I am disgusted by the people at the Jeep Dealership. Who sells and 84 year old man a $6,000 extended warranty on a vehicle that has a full warranty for the first 60,000 miles? Did they honestly think he would live to even outlast the factory warranty?
What they did was criminal in my mind (but that is just my opinion). I do not think I will ever recommend Freedom Chrysler, Jeep, Eagle. They have no conscience.
So, we will pay off the jeep today. I will take pics and/or video of the event. It's a big bunch or riggermaroo. LOL
By the end of the day, Wendall will be free and clear on his car debt. That is because of YOU!!!!!!
PARTY - Saturday, October 20th, 11AM-1PM at Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road.
PLEASE ..... if you live in Lexington; come by, stay long enough to just give Wendall a hug and grab some excellent lunch, provided by City Barbeque and Frankfort Toyota. Media will be there and Tops in Lexington. Come show support for Wendall.
I really want him to know how much he means to the people of Lexington.
For more information, call me .
God Bless you.
I want to share a couple other items with you.
1 - You may know, we are having a party for Wendall this Saturday in Lexington, KY at the Richmond Road campus of Southland Christian Church. 11am-1pm. If you live in Lexington I REALLY hope you will drop by, have some lunch with us, and give the man a hug and tell him how you know him and how he touched your life. Please come.
2 - If you cannot come, I invite you to send him a card; condolence or thank you, or just anything that wishes him well. Send those to Wendall Gill c/o Todd Oldfield, 3408 Crimson King Court, Lexington, KY 40517
3 - Lastly, please do keep sharing this story. It's miraculous to say the least. Watch for an additional story in the Herald-Leader, and stories to be run on 1-3 of the local TV stations. We are still trying to get Jack Pattie's attention and the Ellen show!
Love you guys bunches.
Thank you for helping me to help Wendall.
The Appreciation Party is this Saturday at Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road in Lexington, KY. All the details are on the www.helpwendall.com page.
PLEASE COME! The purpose of this party is to give you guys a chance to meet Wendall and express to him your warm feelings for him. Did he touch your life? Do you remember him? Come tell him.
And, the second purpose is so we can say thank you. We are going to be provided with excellent lunch. City Barbeque is sending us pulled pork, pulled chicken, green beans, baked beans, potato salad, and corn pudding! YUMMY.
It's all FREE to you. They paid for most of it along with a wonderful man; Mike Tewell of Toyota of Frankfort! Come celebrate this wonderful event with us!
I hope you will come and join us. I would like to have a day where Wendall and the boys get 100 hugs each. They need it. They are very sad and miss their granny.
And, I think Wendall needs to step up to the mic and tell the story... and just how grateful he is.
The campaign has just been going crazy the last two days. I have had a hard time keeping up with it. It seems the Washington Post has re-ran the story in another publication; God bless them.
The Herald-Leader is running a second story as well. Still holding out for the "Ellen" show! LOL
We are at $58,000. Last Sunday we were at $27,200. Just amazing. More than doubled!
Help me help them. I want to pay off their house and be done... at that point, surely this sweet man can retire!
Prayers for you all.