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12-Y-O Boy's Garage Sale to Help Mom Battling Cancer Inspires Outpouring of Support

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By Leonardo Blair , CP Reporter
August 30, 2013|11:59 am
Devon Melton (Photo: Screen Grab via FOX 2 NOW)

Devon Melton, 12.

A 12-year-old boy who overheard his mother crying to a relative on the phone over mounting bills a day after she had breast cancer surgery decided to be a blessing to his mother, who he says is always blessing others, by having a garage sale that has brought many to tears and an outpouring of support.

"I overheard her talking on the phone. She didn't know I heard her at first. I just asked her are you ok because her tears were running down her face," said the Ferguson, Mo., boy Devon Melton in an interview with FOX 2 NOW.

Sarah Wood, who helped publicize Devon's story on her Facebook page, met the boy via a Craigslist ad he had posted seeking items for his garage sale. According to an e-mail Devon shared with the Missouri woman, which she includes unedited in her Facebook post, the boy's mother finished her conversation with the relative and he asked "if she was okay she said Yes baby God is on our side." He then continued: "I know she was sad but she will not tell me the truth."

Devon's mother, Christina Craig, has reportedly battled with epilepsy, cervical cancer and most recently breast cancer.

Witnessing his mother's travails was initially a bit difficult but hearing her cry without her knowing was what inspired his actions.

"I went to my preacher and asked how can I help he said to do a garage sale. I went to every house on my road getting donations for the garage sale people gave me a few things I even had a guy give me $20 for her," Devon noted in the e-mail to Wood.

"When she [Christina] seen the stuff I think she was mad until I told her I want to raise money to help her and she started crying but said they are happy tears ," he said.

He then explained how he got the idea to take his mission to Craigslist.

"Well then my grandma had Craigslist pulled up and I seen free so she clicked on it and that's how I got the idea to email everyone well after my grandma told me we can reply by email to everyone that was giving things away," Devon's response to Wood continued.

"My mom deserves the best and I want to help her because she helps everyone. Even with her sick she still works at the food pantry at our church she says people have to eat and God blessed us to be part of a ministry that can feed people. I just wish it was mom's turn to be blessed with a timeout like she says she needs. I hope we can get things together and I can really help my mom," he said.

With the added publicity from Wood's Facebook post and other media, Devon is now getting ready for a big Labor Weekend garage sale thanks to the outpouring of support he has received so far.

Family and friends are now working to get the bags and boxes of donations he has received sorted and priced and the thankful boy won't stop until everything is sold.

"I didn't expect it to get out of proportion like this. Now I am really excited to see what's going to happen. I'm doing as much as I can as far as everything goes and I hope she feels better after all of this is over with. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has donated. It's going to a good cause. It's very helpful and very generous," he said.


Sarah Wood's entire unedited Facebook post on the touching moment she learned about the 12-year-old's actions are below. It has been shared almost 7,000 times.

Something very touching happened to me yesterday and I want to pass it along... and it happened through Craigslist of all places!!

Here's just a bit of back ground info:
I held a garage sale on Saturday morning and put some left overs out on the curb and announced a "curb alert" on Craigslist. I received an email asking if the items were still available and if I can hold them for pick-up. After several email exchanges I learned that this person (was thinking it was a woman) was collecting donations for a big sale to raise money for her mother who has breast cancer.

Around 7pm, the door bell rang and a very thin, pale pretty lady was standing on my stoop. If I had to guess, she was about my age but she looked very very tired. She thanked me for the donation and turned to leave. Thinking that she was the one I had been emailing, I told her that I hope her sale goes well for her mom.

She turned back around and said "Actually, it is my son who is having the sale". A little stunned, because I had such a different story-line in my head, I paused and then asked, how old is your son?

She said, "Twelve"

I step out of my doorway and put my hand to my chest and said ... "Oh my gosh! What a sweet boy you have! I was thinking I was talking to someone older via email and so I assumed the mother with cancer was older as well."

She continued to tell me the whole story...
"No, he is 12 and this is his entire idea. He heard me on the phone with the electric company and I was crying because they only give one month grace period for a person with medical/financial complications. Now they are going to cut off our electricity. My son, walked up to me and said, "Mom, I'm going to find the money."

She continued, "Devon has been walking the neighborhood asking people for donations for his sale. He discovered the "free" section on Craigslist and has been contacting people that way too. He is determined to raise the money and keeps telling me not to worry about it."

After a few more exchanges, I wished her well and said goodbye. After going back inside and sharing the story with Connor, Danielle and Grant I was shedding some tears of my own.

I kept thinking about them and later that evening I sent her another email asking if I still have time to find some more donations for Devon's sale and asked if she could put her story in an email so I could share it with others. She did better than that... this morning I received an email from Devon and this is what this young man had to say...I didn't edit anything just copied and pasted this from my gmail account:

Hi this is Devon I am the one that messaged you on Craigslist. My mom is amazing she and my dad take care of my two brothers me and my sister. She has breast cancer and I heard her crying one day after she had her surgery. I thought she was hurt so I went to her door I heard her say I'm losing everything because I am sick we are about to lose our home electric gas and dad lost his job.I didn't want her to know I heard her so I ran in the livingroom. She came out and I asked her if she was okay she said Yes baby God is on our side. I know she was sad but she will not tell me the truth.I went to my preacher and asked how can I help he said to do a garage sale. I went to every house on my road getting donations for the garage sale people gave me a few things I even had a guy give me $20 for her when she seen the stuff I think she was mad until I told her I want to raise money to help her and she started crying but said they are happy tears well then my grandma had Craigslist pulled up and I seen free so she clicked on it and that's how I got the idea to email everyone well afyer my grandma told me we can reply by email to everyone that was giving things away. My mom deserves the best and I want to help her because she helps everyone.even with her sick she still works at the food pantry at our church she says people have to eat and God blessed us to be part of a ministry that can feed people.I just wish it was mom's turn to be blessed with a timeout like she says she needs. I hope we can get things together and I can really help my mom.

On top of this sweet email, he called me today to thank me personally and his mom, Christina said that he was smiling from ear to ear when she told him I would try to help. Amazing. I just had to pass this along.

If you are interested in helping, Devon wants to do his garage sale this coming weekend (Labor Day Weekend) and the following weekend. If you have any thing to donate to his sale, the easiest thing would be to drop it off at their home. If you have small things, you can get them to me because I am bringing some more garage sale left overs to them later this week.

Christina told me that Devon was making flyers so once I have the actual sale info, I will pass that along too. They need people to give things to sell and people to buy the things as well. Also, if anyone has any connections with a non-profit that might want to take some monetary donations, please let me know.

Devon & Christina Craig
 416 Ballman Ave
 Ferguson, Missouri 63135

 

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