Jeremy White is humbled by what people are doing to help his family.
White's wife Melissa died March 2, leaving the Langley father with three young children to care for - Alexander, six, four-year-old Jordana and Maddox, two.
Melissa's death at 30 came just 13 months after she was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease complicated by rare Frontotemporal dementia.
But the community has rallied around the Whites with fundraisers, leaving Jeremy free to try run his household, get help with the kids from his parents and keep working at his job as a manager at the Future Shop in Coquitlam.
"It's humbling but it's also crazy to see everything that's been going on," said Jeremy, 34.
"It's nice to know people are thinking of you and are looking out for your best interests," he said.
Chief among those people is Anita McCarthy, a former neighbour of the family.
Melissa did daycare for McCarthy's son. She heard that Melissa had fallen ill and she attended her funeral.
"She was 30 when she died," said McCarthy. "I turned 30 shortly after that."
"She's got kids similar to my kids' age," she recalled. "I though if that happened to me, I would want somebody to do something for me."
McCarthy heard about a pub night being held to support the family and thought she could organize one, too.
That pub night June 24 at the Fort Pub is already sold out but there will be even more money raised because in excess of $8,000 worth of merchandise is up for silent and live auction.
The pub night was just the start for McCarthy, who contacted WestJet and got two round-trip tickets for anywhere the airline flies. With the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Langley, she turned the tickets into the Melissa White Legacy Raffle that could raise as much as $20,000.
All this week Fintastics Cuts for Kids in Surrey will donate a portion of its sales to the White family. Funds have also been raised through the sale of donated timeshare weeks from Eric Nyvall.
If things go well, McCarthy thinks she could collect as much as $35,000 for the family.
"I want to shoot for the moon," said McCarthy.
McCarthy lost a brother in 2003 and understood how such a loss could affect a family, especially long term.
Jeremy White is a little shocked by the support, particularly from McCarthy.
"It's been amazing, the kind of effort she's put in," he said.
As could be imagined, his family's life has changed.
"I've always got something on the go," he admitted.
"It's going okay. There is some days that are easier than others but there's always something new that comes up."
The support has been encouraging. "It's crazy how much stuff will be taken care of with the amount of support from the different corporations that have donated all these prizes," said Jeremy.
"Just seeing everyone, what they're willing to do for people they'd don't even know is really cool.
"I never would have expected that kind of outreach for someone like me for any kind of situation."
More information is at http: //whitefamilytrustfund.weebly.com/index.html. The Melissa White Legacy Event and Raffle is on Facebook. The Royal Bank in Willowbrook is also accepting donations.
MELISSA WHITE LEGACY RAFFLE
The grand prize winners will be drawn at the Melissa White Legacy Event on Sunday, June 24. Tickets will be $10 each and will be on sale until June 24.
Grand prize - two round trip tickets anywhere WestJet Flies
Second prize - two-night stay at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet and two round trip flights with Orca Airways
Third Prize - $1,000 gift card basket
Filled with $1,000 worth of gift cards from businesses all over the Lower Mainland, including: Moxies, McDonalds Canada, Westin Hidden Tasting Bar, The Keg, The Running Room, Montanas, Olive Garden, Mr.Mike's, Coza, Get Fit Canada, Jugo Juice, Safeway, Ming and Sing, Rockford Grill, Red Robin, Fort Pub & more
Fourth prize - Canon Eos Rebel T2i, 18-55mm lens, 430x Speedlight flash and bag package
@ Copyright 2013