Friday, March 08, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
It’s a senior project with a life-changing purpose.
A purpose that a large community has embraced.
Chattanooga Christian seniors Gracie Smith (CCS tennis player), Mary Sabourn and Sarah Marshall are helping raise money to build a home in Apison for Gracie’s older brother and U.S. Army veteran Andrew Smith; a wounded warrior, an American soldier injured in the line of duty.
It was a year ago today – March 8, 2012 – that Smith lost both of his legs when he stepped on an explosive device in Afghanistan that changed his life forever.
Steps 4 Steps – Sat. Mar 9 at the Riverwalk near CB Robinson Bridge and Chattanooga State: Family, friends and many others will participate in the Steps 4 Steps 5k walk to help raise money to build a house for Andrew and his wife Tori.
Registration is at 9 a.m. and the 5K walk begins at 10. Andrew and Jodi are scheduled to be in attendance and lead the walk.
Led by the efforts of Steps to Hope, the Smith’s home will be completed by late June.
“The support and contributions to this project have been tremendous,” said Mark Wilson, the founder of Steps to Hope.
From a fundraiser by the UTC fraternities and sororities to money given at the Chattanooga Christian football Homecoming game last fall to the financial involvement of local corporations, the original efforts of the three CCS seniors has touched the greater Chattanooga community.
2 For Drew: If anyone wants to contribute to the building of the Smith’s home, they can donate $2 at any 1st Tennessee Bank.
Steps To Hope Involvement: Wilson’s son, David, was severely injured in a Tornado that touched down at Union College in Feb. 2008 which resulted in him being in a wheelchair for six months.
“Our son was buried for five hours, lost the use of both legs for a time due to his injuries and spent 67 days in three different hospitals, “ Mark stated, “but through prayer and lots of rehab he walks unassisted and can do just about anything except run."
David and Andrew are not only connected through tragedy, but are Chattanooga Christian alums and both played sports in high school and college.
David was captain and a two-time all-state soccer player in high school and played as a freshman at Union before his injury, while Andrew played baseball at CCS and Covenant College.
“Through the struggles and rehab that our son experienced, our family felt a burden to help others that are hurting and building a house for Andrew and Tori is our first project,” said Mark who noted that one quarter of the building materials have been donated.
Thanks to a sister's giving heart for a wounded brother, a home for a young couple will soon be a reality.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org