In late October, KTVO introduced the Heartland to Gary Van Hemert.
Gary had been working on his new home when he tripped climbing out of a window, and fell about 30 feet to the ground, onto a tractor bucket.
Despite breaking 4 vertebras, both ankles and his right femur, he is expected to walk again. But another great story coming out of this is that students from Eddyville-Blakesburg showed up at his home Friday to show Gary and his family what being a member of the community really is; they helped him do some of the demolition work that was needed on his home.
KTVO spoke with Eddyville-Blakesburg student Andrew Larkin. Larkin told KTVO that helping people is something that makes him feel good."We've been tearing out dry-wall - old dry wall and throwing it in the dumpsters. It's going pretty fast It's pretty fun, a lot of hard work; but we will hopefully get it done. It's really good, it's a great benefit and it makes you feel good. It's pretty fun helping someone out," said Larkin.
Several other community members are also giving Gary and his family a hand with medical costs and the costs to remodel his home.
On November 19th, a benefit concert will be held in Blakesburg.Contact Lori King at (641) 799-1442.
On December 4th, a benefit auction will be held at the Eddyville-Blakesburg Elementary School. Questions and donations can be directed to Misty Van Dorin (641) 660-2846.
You can also donate to the Community 1st Credit Union 235 Richmond Avenue Ottumwa, IA 52501. Contact Louise German (641) 682-6529.
Monetary donations or supplies for the house can be directed to Cheryl Eissens (641) 660-0873.