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Division 34 seeks support for families in need this holiday season

CLEVELAND, December 7 — For the eighth year in a row, the members of BLET Division 34 (Columbus, Ohio) are generously sharing their good fortune and helping those in need through their annual Adopt-A-Family program.

“By year’s end, we will have given Christmas to 75 children over the years,” said Jeffrey L. Murray, President and Legislative Representative of Division 34. “It is an incredible blessing to be a part of this program and a tremendous honor to help promote it.”

This year, Division 34 is adopting two families and 13 total children.

The Durr family

Andrew and Elizabeth Durr are a typical family struggling to support a large family in a tough economy. Andrew works at the Post Office and Elizabeth has been unable to find work due to a medical condition. The couple has six children of their own, but they added three more in spite of the increased financial burden.

Andrew and Elizabeth got word that a neighbor was in trouble. The father was sent to prison and, with no one to help with the three children, the mother turned to drugs. Children’s Services intervened and planned to split up the three children into different foster homes, but the Durrs stepped in and took in all three.

“Already struggling to support six children, they decided to welcome three more into their family,” Brother Murray said. “They did it because they know the importance of keeping families together.”

Their children are: Marissa, 10; Madison, 9; Jacob, 7; Myleigh, 4; Mallory, 3; Joseph, 1˝; Hannah, 5; Ryan, 2˝; and Brandon, 1.

The Robinson family

A few hours after cheerleading at her high school’s homecoming football game, Courtney Robinson, 17, was rushed to the emergency room with seizures. Doctors found a cancerous brain tumor and four days later she underwent a nine-hour procedure to remove it. While it’s still too early to know the outcome, doctors have already prescribed an intensive program of radiation and chemotherapy. To make matters worse, on the very morning of Courtney’s brain surgery, her mother Crissy was served with divorce papers.

On a positive note, many local media outlets picked up on the story. Courtney and her family received a great deal of moral support from the community and their friends on social networking sites. However, she has an aggressive form of cancer and it is expected that her mother will have to deal with treatments — and astronomical medical bills — for quite some time.

“This is a particularly heart-wrenching story to me,” Brother Murray said. “This happened in my hometown and Courtney’s mom Crissy was a dear friend of mine in high school.”

Since the father left the Robinson family, their only form of income is child support. In addition to Courtney, Crissy will need to provide a Christmas for Lexxy, 15, Taylor, 12, and Mikaela, 9.

A helping hand

After helping so many children over the past seven years, Brother Murray and the members of Division 34 are soliciting donations to help the two families and 14 children in 2012.

“None of this would be possible without the support we have received from outside individuals and organizations,” Murray said. “People like you! This program began because God compelled many of us to get involved and it has evolved into something magical.”

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked Brother Murray and the members of Division 34 for their generosity and dedication to the Adopt-A-Family program. President Pierce noted that the National Division is presenting a check for $500 to the Adopt-A-Family program, as it has been done for the past several years.

“This is a worthwhile cause and I am proud to again support Division 34,” President Pierce said. “It is especially heartwarming to see the generosity of railroaders during this time of year. We have been blessed and, with the economy the way it is, it’s incumbent upon us to lend a helping hand to those in need.”

If you desire to help, you may contact Brother Jeff Murray by email, Murrays3@hotmail.com, or you can make a donation to:

BLET Division 34
11774 Eddington Ave.
Pickerington, OH 43147

Please make checks payable to Division 34 and put “Adopt-A-Family” in the memo line.

Friday, December 07, 2012

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