"Give It 4Ward" project helps man who lost wife

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 First at Five, February 14, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---News 12 has the story of a Valentine's day surprise valued at more than $1,000 for a grieving husband trying to raise three children. And it all came at the hand of a stranger. We took our cameras along for a surprise treat at Arby's during lunch hour.

"My heart is jumping all over the place." Beth Kraft is excited after helping pull off a Valentine's Day surprise for her co-worker Joe Hada.

Hada is a 27-year-old father struggling to raise three children alone.

"I prayed for those babies. I have a 3 year old myself, and I can't imagine them not having me around. There's nothing like a momma," said Kraft.

An accident involving an 18-wheeler claimed the children's mother, Jessica Hada, back in November.

"One day she was here, the next day she wasn't. It's been difficult," said Joe.

But things are looking up for the Hada family. Joe got toys, diapers, and clothes today. Golden Corral even pitched in a years worth of free meals for the kids.

All of this happened because of a stranger. "I saw that baby... I saw that girl... I saw that cute little boy... now everything is falling into place, and I feel great about what I'm doing," said Candye Smith.

It was all her idea. She started an organization called "Give It 4ward." You nominate people to be honored, then she goes to work. People locally and across the nation sent gifts valued at over $1,000.

"It was just overwhelming at one point, but I'm excited for Joe," said Candye.

Joe's co-worker and friend of 10 years, Beth, was also excited. "There is no word to describe it. God...this is all the Lord."

Joe is calling it a bittersweet treat. It's his first Valentine's Day without the love of his life. "I know she loved me and i loved her and we got that to hold on to until I see her again."

Candye says she hopes to do something like this every three months.


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