- Published on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:02
- Written by Super User
Councilwoman Martha Currie, check recipient Jessica Sandi, sister Jessica, dad James Sandi, Leland Police Chief Mike James, & Leland Town Mayor Brenda Bozeman.
- On a recent chilly evening, Skip Wittkofsky, along with Leland’s Chief of Police Mike James, Leland’s Mayor Brenda Bozeman and Leland City Councilwoman Martha Currie, waited in the lobby of New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinic for Ella Grace Williamson and her mom, Kelli. Skip had been working for months to raise money for some of the children who receive specialty care at the clinic and he was anxious to give Ella Grace her prize.
“I have been raising money for kids for the last 14 years,” Skip said. “Sometimes they are sick or have a medical condition and need some special medication or equipment or something that their family can’t afford and it’s not covered by insurance. Other times I raise money just to buy some toys or comfort items for the kids that have to spend a lot of time in a doctor’s office. I want to do everything I can to help children in our community.”
Skip founded an organization called Dare to Care for Children to do just that. With the help of local companies and individuals like James, Bozeman and Currie, Skip raises money to “just help people out.” His most recent mission began when he got a pedal car and decided to fix it up. He approached local companies and asked them to donate money to his charity in exchange for printing their names on the car. When he was finished, he had a pedal car for one lucky child and $50 checks to give to five other children.
Ella Grace, age three, had won the pedal car. “This is just awesome,” said Kelli Williamson, Ella Grace’s mom. “We were so excited when we got the call that Ella Grace had won. To get this kind of gift from a total stranger is just a wonderful surprise.” James Sandi and his daughter, Jessica, were also in the lobby that evening. Jessica’s name had been drawn to win one of the $50 checks. “One man has gone out of his way to show kindness to a stranger,” James said. “By being unselfish and reaching out to the community, he has put a smile on children’s faces. It’s really humbling.”
“I’m always looking for ways to help children,” Skip said. “I have purchased insulin pumps and wheelchairs for kids whose families couldn’t afford them. I have bought gas for families who were traveling to UNC for hospital stays. I depend on donations so that I can provide these things for the kids. With the economy the way it is, sometimes it can be hard for businesses to continue to donate, but every little bit helps and it’s all worth it when you can do something nice for a child.” Mayor Brenda Bozeman agrees.
“I have been supporting Skip’s program for years,” she says. “He’s got such a good heart. Whenever he calls and says he needs something for a child he has heard about, I can never turn him down. It makes you feel good to know that there are people out there willing to just do nice things for other people.” To learn more about Dare to Care for Children and how you can help, visit www.daretocare4children.com.