HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – It's time to pass on three hundred dollars, this week to former teenage sweethearts. Seventeen years and 7 kids later, disability makes every day a struggle for the family.
But what they lack in finances, they more than make up for in love. They touched the heart of the woman who called "12 on Your Side's Acts of Kindness."
Karen Monger was on a mission.
"I said I want to make sure you understand how much this family needs and how much they do deserve it," said Karen.
She made sure we knew about the family she met thru Sunday school seven years ago.
"God's just given me the heart and the love for them," she said.
Love is what brought Kenny and his wife Gayle together 17 years ago.
"I met her at a skating rink over on Williamsburg Road," said Kenny.
Now they're raising a family: "This is Tamara, that's Tiffany. This is Elizabeth, Kayla, Matthew and Brandon," explained Gayle.
The oldest, KJ, is with his grandfather today. Karen says they're seven super kids.
"I enjoy being with the children, doing things with them, they're always polite and well behaved," she said.
The Sharpe household also includes Kenny's brother and Gayle's mother. Karen said, "It is crowded, 4 adults and 7 children and 1 bathroom."
Karen says the family's struggles are constant. "Every month there's never enough with 1 disability check and their brother's income and their rent is going up."
Church members contribute what they can. "I have enough in my little envelope for all 7 children's school fees," said Karen.
And a little extra…
Sabrina Squire: "1 hundred, 2 hundred, 3 hundred dollars for your Act of Kindness. So how far are they from here?"
Karen Monger: "Half a mile down that road."
That's just off Route 360. We're near the I-Hop on Mechanicsville Turnpike. We follow Karen. Within minutes we arrive. The brick rancher the Sharpe's call home and we're welcomed by Kenny and a trio of kids.
Karen Monger: "Hi. How y'all doin'? You recognize this lady?"
Kenny Sharpe: "Yeah from Channel 12 News."
Karen Monger: "This is Sabrina Squire and this is Matt."
Kenny Sharpe: "How ya doing ma'am?"
Sabrina Squire: "I'm doing great. It's so good to meet you. I hear you got a big, wonderful, loving family."
Kenny Sharpe: "Yes ma'am I do."
Spoken like a man who knows his true treasure.
Karen Monger: "Channel 12 is honoring you with this Act of Kindness, with 1 hundred, 2 hundred, 3 hundred dollars."
Kenny Sharpe: "Thank you ma'am. This helps a lot. Thank you so much."|
Karen Monger: "Maybe make a dent on that Va. Power bill."
Kenny Sharpe: "Yes ma'am."
As we head inside Kenny tells me he just got off the phone with the power company.
"Our electric bill was almost 900 bucks this month," said Kenny.
And he may have to pay an extra deposit. "Anywhere from 800 to a thousand dollar deposit," Kenny said.
Money Kenny doesn't have, health problems forced him out of work. "I've got cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, I been thru it."
He's had four surgeries for thyroid cancer, his prognosis is uncertain. It's stressful for the whole family.
"It helps out a lot, y'all given us three hundred dollars," Gayle said.
The family hopes to get their electrical system repaired. Meanwhile they're grateful for what they already have… "Friends and family and churches," said Gayle, and of course, each other.
Thru every single trial, a perfect picture of family togetherness.
If you'd like to pass on an act of kindness, remember the rules are: it can't be a relative and we have to find the person within one hour.