Bev Creswell and Lois Harmande wanted to help.
They were frustrated, watching for a year as their friend and neighbor Elba Noble struggled with a critically ill son, Mikey, below.
In January, Creswell and Harmande were talking about what they could do to help. They decided to get involved. And what they have accomplished in the weeks since is a textbook example for others.
Creswell and Harmande went online and researched what it takes to raise money for organ transplants and ongoing medical bills.
A key to their efforts was discovering the National Foundation for Transplants which was founded by three women in Memphis in 1983 who wanted to help a little girl in need of a liver transplant.
They took the NFT blueprint and added to it. They built a Mikey Noble Web site where they published blogs and videos they created and photos explaining the need.
And they started a variety of projects, large and small, to get the money flowing.
They put out a plea to friends. And friends of friends. It’s a concept known as “Web spread” where a single e-mail multiplies as it fans out across the Internet.
Today, they have built a network of volunteers and raised about $25,000 for Mikey to help pay for the medicine he’ll need as recipient of a kidney transplant.
Check out the Volunteer page at his Web site to see all the different things the friends are doing.
Elba Noble says the reaction of her neighbors and friends isn’t really surprising. She said Harmande has been like this since she moved into their Rockrimmon neighborhood 15 years ago.
“I’m from the east where you stay in your house and mind your own business,” Noble said. “Lois moved in and got to know everyone. Pretty soon we were all friends on our cul de sac. She keeps an eye out on everybody. We care for each others’ houses and pets. That kind of thing.”
Their tiny Poncha Circle cul de sac became a place where the neighbors had frequent parties and kids truly grew up together. It was one big extended family.
One time, when the Nobles were out of town, their basement flooded.
“Lois noticed and when we got home, she had everyone in the cul de sac helping to move our furniture out of the basement,” Noble said.
She can’t imagine how she’d get through her son’s illness without Creswell and Harmande and the others.
“Our cul de sac family is amazing,” Noble said.