Concrete Cares of Nebraska had an excellent year in 2016 where we were blessed to be able present seven families each with $2,500, bringing our total to date to over $38,500.
Also a unique opportunity arose. We had contacted a family in Holstein, Neb. whose eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. The family has five children and two adults living in a small home. When asked what their young children wanted for Christmas the mom’s response was:
“I've been having some very in-depth discussions with my little ones about Christmas wants and needs. I hadn't written back yet, because honestly I wasn't getting a list of toys or clothes from them that would have been easy to pass on to you.
"What they really wanted for Christmas was for Bella to get better and for us to be able to finish our basement. You see, when we discovered Bella's cancer we had finally saved up the $8,000 to get a crew to come and pour our basement floor to where we could expand our three-bedroom home to fit our five children still at home. With Bella's treatment costs, me losing my job to care for her, and Craig having to put his job on hold to care for the other children due to all of the emergency trips to the hospital and his job requiring out-of-state travel, the money is long gone. Before Bella got sick, we had three in one bedroom and two in the other, but once Bella started chemo she needed her own room due to her low blood counts, so two children got moved into the living room.
“So when I told them we were blessed to have some angels help with Christmas, they all said they wanted the basement finished. I explained that this was a lot of money and even angels had budgets. They then decided to ask for gift certificates to Menards for supplies or Sherwin Williams for paint. I understand this may not be the direction you are able to take, as people like buying fun stuff. My children are amazing and will appreciate any gifts they receive."
So hearing this our small organization under the direction of myself and Jereme Montgomery, executive director of the Nebraska Concrete and Aggregate Association (NCAA), and one of CC’s and TCP’s Most Influential People in the Concrete Industry 2017, got to work. We reached out to members of NCAA, to contribute to this project. And of course, without hesitation our members responded: David Werner and Brad Salinger of Consolidated Concrete, Omaha; Beau Wissing, Heartland Concrete Construction, Hastings; Ed Sheen and Kevin Space, Minden Lumber and Concrete, Minden; Stan Poff, Kearney Concrete Co., Kearney, and Gaylan Gehring, Heartland Concrete Placement, Columbus.
All agreed to donate their time, knowledge, and materials to this family. The placement of 18 cubic yards required the use of a pump and plenty of labor, of course. We were able to provide this family with a basement floor and help with some materials to build walls and install flooring, as well as $1,000 for gifts that could actually be opened on Christmas Day. Concrete Cares of Nebraska is very active and dedicated to helping those in need.