Make a difference, support those in need

Things can change in a flash; the tide will shift, the stars will realign, promises of forever can vanish. One minute you are perfectly healthy, the next a life-altering diagnosis can send you reeling in disbelief.

At those times in our lives, or the lives of our loved ones, the most reassuring, uplifting thing that can happen is realizing that you aren’t on the road alone, that others are with you, cheering you every step of the way, lifting prayers and showing support in big and small ways.

We see that kind of outpouring in our community all the time. There are fundraisings galore to help those who are sick or underprivileged. Just around the corner is this community’s annual Relay for Life which raises thousands upon thousands of dollars for cancer research, and, just as importantly, lifts the spirits of survivors and gives comfort to those who have lost friends and family.

We have lost so many in our community to cancer’s deadly grasp that it’s hard to comprehend, and there are many more fighting courageous battles with the disease right now. Our heart goes out to them all, our support is with them, and our prayers will continue to be lifted for them day after day.

The same is true for those suffering from other diseases, such as leukemia, heart and liver disease, mental disorders and countless other health issues that have left them battle-weary, afraid and in need of a hand to lift them, a prayer to sustain them, a word to encourage them.

While there are many, we have shared stories about the needs of several residents recently in The Sampson Independent, hoping to grab readers’ attention and, at the same time, garner their support, their prayers and their encouragement.

There’s 19-month-old Logan McLamb, born with a congenital heart defect that is still threatening his young life. After receiving several interventional catherizations, young Logan and his family, including his mom, Union Intermediate school counselor Lora McLamb, must travel to California for another medical procedure. The costs keep mounting for the young family, and the Union school, its students and the community are pulling out all the stops to help them. There is an ongoing cookie and t-shirt sale, as well as other fundraising efforts. And lots of prayers, the most needed of all.

Then there’s Rose Marie Soto, a local and well-known businesswoman who has been diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. The disease is incurable, but it is treatable. Complications are currently preventing those treatments to begin and medical bills continue to mount.

Our help is needed.

On May 31, at the Clinton Farmer’s Market, a barbecue benefit dinner will be held for Soto, complete with live music from Mr. Boogie Shoes himself, Robert Stroud. The event is being held from 11 a.m. until 2 and 5-7 p.m., with all proceeds going toward Soto’s medical bills.

The dinner will help; donations will, too. The amount does not matter; what does is that those who can help in some way.

Soto, like so many others, has been a major part of our community. A hairdresser for 45 years, Soto has given to clients and friends through the years, doing what she could to help others. Today she needs our help.

There are countless others; more than we can mention on this page. Prayers are needed, support appreciated.

Time is of the essence.

We know this community and the tremendous heart that exists here, from one end of Sampson to the other. There’s never been a more important time than now to show that heart, helping others who have found themselves in positions they likely never expected.

For those of us blessed to be healthy, reaching out a helping hand to others is important, a way of showing supporting someone else and showing gratitude for things like health, friends and community that we so often take for granted.

Life can change in a moment. At those times, knowing we have support makes all the difference.

Please make that difference today in the lives of little Logan, Rose Marie or someone else who desperately needs it.