Nettie Keith is aware of precisely what to do when she comes throughout a bushel of lemons in her life.
“I’m selecting lemons and I’m making lemonade,” she stated.
A bunch of pals and acquaintances are serving to Keith just do that within the face of a disaster. Lemonade and a GoFundMe website are contributing to a neighborhood effort to assist Keith discover housing and take care of her particular wants daughter and grandson after a fireplace destroyed their residence on Dec. 23.
Keith’s residence, the second story unit of a duplex within the 1900 block of Lee Avenue in Brunswick, burned when a fuel line feeding the unit’s heater busted. The hearth destroyed the construction and displaced Keith, her particular wants grownup daughter, Jasmine Elkins, and her 6-year-old non-verbal autistic grandson, Jonah Elkins, two days earlier than Christmas.
“It was so devestating,” Keith stated this week. “I simply didn’t know what to do.”
She, her daughter and her grandson had been capable of get out of the home and keep away from critical damage, however their belongings and their residence had been destroyed. The considered the hearth nonetheless haunts Keith, however with the help of the neighborhood, she is assured issues will work out ultimately.
“It’s nonetheless resting at the back of my thoughts,” she stated. “I’m making an attempt to go ahead and put this behind me.”
Jane Christian and Alex Binkney have recognized Keith for years. Christian serves because the volunteer government director for Social Alternatives and Energetic Recreation, or SOAR and has labored with Jasmine and Jonah via this system designed to strengthen the standard of life for people with developmental disabilities in Glynn and McIntosh counties. Deepening their connection, Keith serves as caretaker for Christian’s aged father.
Binkney labored with Keith when Binkney was a instructor at Golden Isles Elementary and extra lately taught Jonah methods to swim via SOAR and personal classes.
Binkney’s grandchildren — Grae Frazier, 8, and Approach Frazier, 7 — know Jonah via the swimming classes and took issues a step additional.
“My granddaughter stated, ‘We are able to generate income for Jonah. We are able to make a lemonade stand,’” Binkney stated.
It was a cute thought Binkney thought would make $25 or so, however she underestimated the generosity of the Golden Isles. The lemonade stand was arrange close to Binkney’s residence within the Pier Village on St. Simons Island and introduced in $500.
“Some individuals gave way more than simply shopping for a cup of lemonade,” Binkney stated. “Some individuals gave $50 or extra.”
They lately gave the cash collected from promoting the lemonade to Keith and her household, who’ve been staying in a lodge because the fireplace. That lodge room is simply lined via renter’s insurance coverage for a restricted time, nonetheless, which implies Keith will nonetheless have to determine long-term housing quickly.
To assist with that, Christian, together with Maria Maes, began a GoFundMe website to lift housing cash for Keith and to make sure Jasmine and Jonah have the whole lot obligatory to satisfy their wants.
“I simply can’t describe what caring giving individual Nettie is,” Christian stated. “Nettie is a real survivor who has labored arduous her complete life to make ends meet. She has at all times taken care of others, together with an adopted daughter and a younger grandson with autism. She’s overcome breast most cancers via all of it. On a regular basis she wakes up with a smile on her face and pleasure in her coronary heart.”
The fundraiser had raised $4,270 of its $15,000 objective by Friday.
Keith stated she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the neighborhood and of her church, Elm Grove Baptist Church within the Meridian neighborhood of McIntosh County.
“It makes me so grateful that I’ve these people who find themselves behind me 100%,” Keith stated. “My fundamental concern is getting my daughter and grandson again to the place they had been. Crucial factor is them.”
There may be nonetheless a troublesome highway forward for Keith. She has discovered that inexpensive housing is tough to search out and dealing with the logistics of the whole state of affairs is difficult. She stays assured and devoted, nonetheless, that God and neighborhood will probably be there to help her.
“I’m turning this web page in my life, and the extra pages that flip, there’s pleasure and there are individuals right here to assist,” Keith stated. “I’m going to choose these lemons and preserve making lemonade.”