NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Community News Network

December 20, 2013

Iowa family pays it forward with son's final wish

CLINTON, Iowa — In the wake of loss, one Iowa family is making a big impact on their community this holiday season.

On Nov. 28, Bonnie and David Barr of Clinton suffered an unbearable tragedy when their son, Stewart, died unexpectedly a little more than two weeks after his 30th birthday.

Just 18 days before his death, Stewart sent a Facebook message to his brother and some of his friends, vowing to purchase 25 gifts to donate to a local toy drive and challenging them to do the same.

"When I learned of Stewart's death, it was very heartbreaking and shocking. We went to the visitation and his family had told us about the challenge he had made to his friends,"  long-time friend Mike Griswold said. "I kind of put it to the back of my mind until one day, it just hit me that I needed to take the challenge. What a great opportunity to try to continue what Stewart started."

Since beginning the challenge, the group has distributed nearly $3,000 in Stewart's honor to charities, shelters and toy drives all around the community. In addition, it has sparked others who knew Stewart and his family to step up and join the toy-giving challenge.

According to Connie Brashaw, a Citizen's Police Academy alumna who organizes the local Shop with a Cop event in Clinton, Bonnie attended the event  Dec. 7, just long enough to give the 32 children an extra holiday surprise.

"It was very sad when she came to give us the money, knowing why she was giving it," Brashaw said. "The kids were excited to get the initial $100 so, when they got $120 they were ecstatic. It was very sweet of them to do, and we really appreciate it. They are pretty amazing people."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network

Offbeat
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans