Rick and Summer George, of Cary, have three beautiful children.
Two years ago, Summer learned 20 months into her fourth pregnancy her next child would not survive as he had no kidneys. She carried the baby boy, whom she named Michael, full term and delivered him knowing she would never tuck him into a crib or rock him to sleep in her arms.
The loss of little Michael left a hole in the parents' hearts, and as time passed they decided they wanted to fill that hole with the love and laughter of another another child - this time through adoption. They planned to adopt a toddler-age child from Honduras, where 11,000 children are ready to have a home and family, Summer said.
"Last year, only nine children from Honduras were brought to the U.S.," Summer said.
With two boys at home - Caden, 9, and Will, 5 - and daughter Ellie, 6, the Georges hope to adopt another little girl to their family circle. However, as most people know, the adoption process is costly. In the Georges' case, it will cost about $30,000 to $40,000 to bring the new child home.
As a pastor for Living Grace Community Church, 1500 Silver Lake Rd. in Cary, Rick learned about the Both Hands Foundation. The non-profit organization, founded four years ago, serves a two-fold mission of assisting widows in the community and, at the same time, raising money to help families adopt children through Lifesong for Orphans.
"Through Both Hands, one hand helps the widow, and one hand helps the orphan," Rick said. "It's the preface of James 127: helping the widow through the church."
The Georges applied to the Both Hands program, and, to their delight, were accepted. This past Saturday, they carried out their mission of helping local widow Sandy Igoe.
Igoe, of Lake Killarney, lost her husband, Russell, eight years ago. As a secretary for the preschool at in Cary, the 66-year-old widow has had trouble maintaining the exterior of her home, its decaying deck, chipping paint and landscaping.
"It's become rather overwhelming," Igoe said. "Financially, I just couldn't handle it alone. This is an answer to a prayer."
The Georges assembled a group of about 40 friends who met at Igoe's house to work. Many friends were solicited donations from area businesses. In all, they collected more than $5,000 in material donations, Sandy said. The biggest expense was paint. Donors included Home Depot, Menard's and Tony's Pizza.
On top of that, all of the volunteers sought out 50 sponsorships from friends, co-workers and family members, similar to how people would race money for a walk-a-thon or golf outing. However, in this case, the volunteers worked for the money, all of which benefits the Georges' adoption fund.
"We have friends here from all walks of our life," Sandy said.
The Georges said the average project raises about $10,000 for the adopting families. Even with the work completed on Igoe's home, they still have a financial mountain to climb.
"We are about $5,000 into this," Sandy said. "We have a long way to go."