A time to give back
The lines were long, literally around the whole inside of the fire station, as people waited patiently to pick up their barbeque plates at the fundraiser held Sunday, August 12 in Charlotte for the children of Sarah Luna.
Luna and Jeremy Ward were killed in an accident on FM 1333, July 31 when a trailer detached from the truck hauling it slamming into their vehicle.
Since then Sarah's five children, including two she shared with Jeremy have been living with her parents in Charlotte. The couple, Jesse and Henrietta Cantu are already raising the five grandchildren they have adopted. For now, they have five more.
Jesse Cantu, Sarah's father said that Sarah was always so helpful and willing to drop everything in a moments notice to help her parents, or anyone who needed a hand. “If there was a kid who wanted to sign up for sports, but couldn't afford it, she would find a way to get them on the team,” he said.
Sarah and Jeremy had been together for six years and were "stuck like glue". They helped serve the community of Charlotte together, being involved in everything from little league, to school, to church events and everything in between.
And that is probably why there has been such an outpouring of help. To give back in honor of the couple that served so much.
The outpouring of support and encouragement of the community, the county and people from everywhere is something they are thankful for .
While serving up plates Naomi Ybarra said she had seen nothing like it before. She has helped at many fundraisers, some pretty successful ones, "but nothing like this. We've given out at least 1,500 plates so far. We cut a 50 pound bag of onions and we're almost out."
They had anticipated about 1,500 plates, but they ran out of meat and had to make three trips to McBee’s Barbecue and Bill Miller. About the last 20 plates were rotisserie chicken from Wal-Mart. The food was donated by the people of Charlotte and the county.
“I cannot even begin to tell you how my heart felt when I saw teachers from Charlotte ISD bringing in baked goods. They had... like four tables of baked goods,” said Ybarra.
“The thing is everyone there knew in their heart that she would have done it for us,” Ybarra said.
She also shared how Sarah always lent a helping hand. Sarah’s daughter Sam and Ybarra’s daughter Marissa are best friends. Sarah would take Marissa to cheer, basketball or softball events.
They raised over $18,000, a record for the tiny town. The Cantu family plans on adding two bedrooms to their home, and a fence. The yard sits near an intersection and with Charlotte growing and the big rig traffic, it's terrifying when the kids are playing.
When asked if there was anything specific the family needed Mrs. Cantu shook her head and said, “Just to say thank you.”
But, a family with 10 school-age children could certainly use some help, so to make donations for the children of Sarah Luna you can drop items or monies at the Pleasanton Express, Atascosa Sheriff’s Department and Ramos Drive In in Charlotte. All Corporate AT&T stores in San Antonio are also accepting donations.