Students help Hospice, while honoring one boy’s father

Fred Pace fpace@civitasmedia.com

October 22, 2013

FOSTER – One morning Brookview Elementary School counselor Gena Godby saw two students, Garrett Wilson and Anthony Jarrell, selling hand-made bracelets at the school and wanted to know what was going on.

“I approached them and asked them, ‘Why are you selling these bracelets?’” Godby said.

Godby said when Garrett answered, she was overwhelmed.

“He said his father had passed away from cancer and Hospice had helped him and his family, so he wanted to raise money to help Hospice and honor his dad,” she said.

The goal of the two boys was to buy a brick and a leaf in the Hospice Hubbard House building in honor of Garrett’s dad, Terry Lee Wilson, and to give the remaining funds to Hospice as a donation.

“My dad’s nickname was Wild Eye,” Garrett said. “He really loved his garage and he would let Anthony and I come in and do stuff with him. We loved looking at all the old stuff he had in there. He had an old toy, a Tonka truck, from when he was a little boy and I liked working on it and playing with it with him. He also loved his dog, Chloe.”

“He showed us how to weld, paint, fix bikes and work on stuff,” Anthony said. “He was my friend too.”

While Wilson was in Hospice care, Anthony made him a black and white bracelet.

“He really liked it,” Garrett said.

Garrett and Anthony are neighbors and best friends. Garrett is 10-years-old and in the fourth-grade at Brookview and Anthony is 11 and in the fifth-grade.

The boys learned how to make them after seeing a television commercial about making bracelets and jewelry.

“We got stuff from the store so we could make them,” Anthony said.

After making a few, they brought them to school to begin selling them.

“By the second day, there we tons of kids waiting at the door to get one,” Garrett said. “One kid I promised one to just jumped on my back as soon as I got to school. He was so excited to get it.”

Other students began making bracelets and giving them to the boys to sell or selling them and giving the boys the money.

“This was a wonderful way for the other students to help Garrett honor his father and help him with his grieving,” said Godby. “Teachers were also buying them as well. The entire school got behind this effort. We saw Garrett using these bracelets in a positive way to deal with his grief and honor his love for his father, his family, his friends and Hospice.”

They boys raised $544.

“They said that it costs lots of money to stay at the Hospice Hubbard House, so I want to help people so they can help them the way they helped my dad and my family,” Garrett said.

At a ceremony last week, the boys brought the money they raised to Hospice and lots of bracelets for the patients. They were able to get the brick and the leaf in honor of Garrett’s dad and make some new friends as well.

“One lady was really sweet, and she just grabbed my hand and said, ‘God bless you,’” Garrett said. “It made me feel good.”

The boys and their friends and family are still raising money.

“My aunt took some to work and we have another $100 saved up,” Garrett said. “We want to do this every year to help Hospice and the patients that have to stay there.”

Anthony’s parents are Dena and David Jarrell, and Garrett’s mom is Beth Wilson. They both live in Foster.