With all of the stories of tragedy that are seen in media on a regular basis, there's an inspirational tale coming out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, worth noting. Noah Lamaide, a 12-year-old boy, has raised $10,500 to help save his grandmother's home from foreclosure.
Janice Sparhawk, 72, was going to lose it all. In fact, an auction had been scheduled for Feb. 15. She had fallen behind on her mortgage payments, thus thrusting the future of her home -- which has more than 100 years of family history -- into uncertainty.
Her situation was ironic. Over the years, Janice had donated much of her time and energy to helping those around her. In fact, she has served as a foster mother to hundreds of children across Wisconsin; to find herself in such great need has certainly been a change of role. Luckily, Noah came to her rescue.
"I wasn't even sure I was going to make it," the young boy said of his fundraising campaign to save Janice's home.
But, luckily for his grandmother's -- and family's -- sake, Noah did. This story of goodwill and kindness started years ago, though, when the boy's mother encouraged the then-9-year-old to get involved in his community. Jill Sparhawk Lamaide challenged her son to do one service project each year. So, rather than accepting birthday gifts, he instead opted to have monies donated to charity and subsequently involved himself in service projects.
"He's always putting others before himself, even as a little child," Jill explained. "I think he got it from seeing the foster kids come into my mom's home. A majority of them said I wish 'I could be Noah.'"
Jill helped her son launch "Noah's Dream Catcher Network," a web site that he uses to raise money for various projects. Little did he know that, this year, his own grandmother would be the individual receiving support from his efforts.
In a Jan. 5 blog post, Noah described his grandmother's need as well as her past goodwill in assisting children in her community:
I want to help someone who is very dear to me for my next dream... My Grandma has fallen on hard times and is going to loose her home. My Grandma incase you don't know her has a heart of gold. She has given so much to our community since I can remember!!! She has done Foster Care ever since I was born and has helped 100's of children who would not have had a safe place to stay in the middle of the night when their own parents were not able to care for them. Her home will go for auction on Feb 15th. Please help me save her home so the kids of Portage Cty in need still have a place to go that is safe!!
Checks streamed in from all over the country, inevitably allowing Noah to go $500 beyond his initial $10,000 goal. As can be imagined, his grandmother is elated.
"It means a lot to be here in my house. [Noah] is a special boy," she said.