What's going on, Rams Nation? Are you feeling blessed? If you are, or even if you're feeling a little down and out, I want you to hear me out on what I'm about to say, because I have a favor to ask of you that will - if you lend a helping hand - warm a lot of people's hearts, including your own.
Yesterday, my Virtual Biographer (he helps me manage my Web stuff), emailed me an article he found in his daily "Kevin Payne" Google Alerts email about two people from St. Louis who were tragically killed in a car wreck.
You may be asking yourself why such a news story would appear in a "Kevin Payne" Google Alerts email. Well...
The father who died was also named Kevin Payne.
Sure, I was initially intrigued to read the article, because we both share the exact same name and hometown, but when I actually soaked in the story and realized the degree of tragedy this family was suddenly facing, their situation really moved me, emotionally.
Here's what happened, according to Fox 2 News:
"ST. LOUIS, MO - A seven month old baby boy (Trenton Payne) died and his father (Kevin Payne) suffered critical injuries when their car crashed into the River Des Peres Wednesday afternoon. It happened near Chippewa in South St. Louis. A good samaritan is heartbroken. He pulled the father out of the wreckage without knowing the baby was in the car."
There's a lot more to this tragedy than what that paragraph reveals, including the story of Todd Gilliam, who heroically tried his best to rescue Trenton and Kevin from the vehicle (he was able to pull Kevin out, but, unfortunately, he died three days later). I've included at the bottom of this post all the news footage about this story so you, too, can understand just how sad all of this is.
As I'm sure all of you who have lost a loved one knows, the sadness of a death doesn't end at the completion of a funeral. The grief continues for a looooong time; and if you're financially responsible for the person(s) who passed, you're probably aware of the heavy costs that result from your loss.
As you can see from the above picture, the Payne family was a young family. And when you're young, you don't anticipate tragedies like this happening to you, nor the costs that come along with them. This is why I imagine they're having a terrible time taking care of all their expenses, and I'm certain they could use the help of Rams Nation to soften their financial burdens they're now facing.
After doing some research, I've learned that the family has setup a "Payne Family Donation Fund," in hopes that family, friends, and any other kind soul who wants to help, will find a soft spot in their heart towards their circumstances and provide them with whatever financial aid they feel comfortable giving.
I know I'm going to donate, and I'm asking that Rams Nation do the same. And thanks to U.S. Bank setting up a simple way to do so, I know all of you will consider taking a quick moment in your day to help the Payne family pay the costs they now face. And if you do make a donation, I have something special I want to give you to repay you for your kindness.
Here's how you can donate to the Payne Family Donation Fund:
- Drive on over to your nearest U.S. Bank location (there are sixteen of them). Click here to find the closest one to you.
- Go inside and tell them you want to make a donation - of ANY amount, LARGE or small - to the Payne Family Donation Fund.
- Finally, save your receipt, because I'd like for you to take a picture of it and send it to me on Facebook as proof that you made a donation. After you upload it to my Page's Wall, I'll contact you to get your mailing address, and then send you something nice in exchange for your generosity.
And that's it! That's all you've gotta do.
I understand everyone has their own financial struggles they're facing, so don't feel obligated to help; but, if you can send some money their way, the Payne family will certainly appreciate it.
Thanks for hearing me out, Rams Nation! Now let's all run on over to our nearest U.S. Bank and show the city of St. Louis how we pull together to help the people of our community when they're in need. Who knows? Maybe we'll bump into each other at one of their locations ;-)
Fox 2 News Coverage of the Payne family's story:
Fatal Car Accident on River Des Peres
Father In Coma After Crash Drowns Baby In River Des Peres
Father Rescued From River Des Peres Dies Saturday Night
Man Who Pulled Another From River Des Peres Hailed As Hero