Jonah's Helmet Drive
Dear Sir or Madam,
During the night on June 11, 2012 I received a phone call informing me that my sixteen year old son, Jonah King, had been in an accident involving a skateboard. He had been rushed to a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. You can imagine the urgency and terror of the drive to the hospital to reach my son.
Upon arriving at the hospital, we were devastated to learn that our son did not have any brain activity. We saw his healthy body lying in the bed, with barely a scratch. It seemed completely unbelievable that a child so full of life was dying before our eyes. The family arrived as well as more than 50 teenage friends, and the halls outside the ICU were filled with stunned and tear stained faces. A few of us at a time, sat by his bed, and wept and prayed for a miracle as we watched the ventilator breathe for him.
The following day, the doctors were more than certain, Jonah’s head injury was severe. He was no longer with us. We had come to the last moments of his life, and decisions had to be made. The most important of which was organ donation.
Jonah had just recently gotten his driver’s license. He was so proud of it, and of course that day he insisted that he wanted to be an organ donor. That is a very hard decision for a family to make, but we know that it is what Jonah would have wanted. Through organ donation he has touched and saved countless lives. We are so proud of the gifts he left here on Earth.
We would like to see Jonah’s memory live on in the form of helmet awareness. We believe that Jonah’s life would have been saved by a helmet and it is our goal that children everywhere have access to helmets. It is also our goal that no parent will stand beside a dying child because they did not have a helmet.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
“In 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care. Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20 (2). Annually, 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments.”
Our two objectives are to collect helmets for distribution to children and to increase the message of helmet awareness. We are asking businesses to partner with us in any way they can to meet these two objectives. If you can collect helmets, donate helmets, match helmet donations, or donate funds to our non-profit account, we would greatly appreciate your support.
Our helmets will be given to The Bicycle Man in Fayetteville, North Carolina and to Toys for Tots. This is an amazing charity created by Moses Mathis and is carried on by his widow Ann Mathis. For twenty years, Mr. and Mrs. Mathis have collected and repaired countless bicycles for low income children. Last year, they did not have enough helmets to give with each bicycle. It is our goal to make sure that they will have more than enough helmets this year.
We miss our Jonah. Every day is one more day without him. The sadness never really goes away. So every day we get up and try to make the world he left a better place. We hope you can help us.
Donations can be made at any Well's Fargo Bank
Checks to be made payable to: Jonah’s Helmet Drive