Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Out of the corner of my eye...

Tonight, while sitting in a busy Atlanta airport, I exchanged emails with Brian about various topics; he mentioned Gates had another “good day” and shared “his right arm continues to get stronger.”  

Out of the corner of my eye I could see a monitor flicker with scenes of the devastating tornadoes in Missouri.  Ironically, just beyond the television is an advertising poster showing a member of the Red Cross, cleaning up after the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami in Japan; as if on cue, a new email, the sender I didn’t recognize, popped up in my “inbox.” 

The email told the story to an interested party, me being copied on the message, of the efforts of our little community in Bountiful (Utah) in behalf of Gates and gave instructions as to how this person could help. 

I started thinking again about the “May Day” event, the friends and neighbors who have sacrificed their time (putting their own life challenges on hold) and the resolution of individual people to come together in common purpose.

“As families nurture and strengthen individuals, so also communities nurture families, providing a setting within which they can become and stay strong.  Families are both protected and assisted by strong communities.  Strong community organizations, including schools, churches, councils, service clubs, and so on, supplement and complement the efforts of parents, not only making their work easier but often making the difference between success and failure.  Without denying in any way the paramount importance of the family, the old African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child has much truth in it.” – Elder Alexander B. Morrison

What a wonderful and astounding community we have here.  Please recognize, I don’t refer to that of a geographical area, as people from all over the world have donated of their substance, be it time, money or just well wishes to bless the lives of the Hunsaker Family.

 One good neighbor referenced straws on a camel’s back when she said “we can remove the straws placed on this family’s back, even if just a little, to relieve them from the burdens they face.”  Another good Sister in the ward said, with emotion felt by each present person, “you never know which straw it is, you remove, that will save this family.”

“…When the community learn(s) to work together, and are agreed in a common purpose, what is it that they cannot accomplish?  Union is strength.” - Elder Erastus Snow (May 1874).

My heart is full, sitting on this crowded plane, thinking of each of the charitable acts performed (those seen and unseen), removing one-by-one, the straws from the back of this Eternal Family.

John Winthrop, first Governor of the Colony of Massachusetts, shared with fellow Puritans aboard the Arbella on their voyage to what has evolved into the United States, “We must be knit together in this work as one. … We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labour and suffer together … as members of the same body.”

I am humbled by the all the acts of Christlike service.  How impressive are those, who impart of their own comforts to bring consolation to any who are in need; whether in Missouri, Alabama, Japan, Members of the Military, Bountiful and of course, our little community here:  The Gates, Hope and Miracles Community.

Here are some of the events taking place this weekend (May 27th & 28th).  If you’re in Bountiful, please go out and support these businesses as they support Gates.

  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt (both locations):  When a customer donates into the Gates can, Orange Leaf matches the amount donated on a gift card for the contributor.
  • Garden Day Spa:  $10 off service for every $10 donated
  • Firehouse Car Wash:  $10 off service for every $10 donated
  • Parson's Bakery:  Every $5 donated, a $5 gift certificate is issued
  • Jay's Tire Pros:  For every $10 donated $10 gift certificate is issued
    • Jay is also matching the total of all donations, up to $1000
  • Cutler's:  Still creating their contribution
  • Woods Cross Football:  Straight money donation
  • Costa Vida:  Food vouchers directly to the Hunsaker Family
  • Taco Time:  Still creating their contribution

Finally, again, Gates reads your comments.  Please - know him or not - if you have words of encouragement, things that have touched you or want to share, please do so (you can even be anonymous).


  1. Gates, I don't know how to express the affect that your strength and endurance has had on me and the entire Bitner family. This blog and your continued perseverance is so uplifting and gives me courage to know that anything is possible and that life is what we make it. We continue to pray for you and HOPE for the best. Oh, and I couldn't agree with you more when you said (about my little brother Dan) "He is the manliest man I know." :) He loves you so much and would do anything for you!

  2. You don't know me - I come to this site through the Belyea blog - but I pray for you every day.

  3. GATES! I don't even know you one bit, but I am truly astonished and inspired when I hear more about your progress! I will continue to pray for you and your family; you guys are great examples. Your attitude and outlook are both crazy, and in the best way!Seriously. Remember, you can do hard things!

  4. HEY GATES! The Mormon Times show on you was absolutely amazing! God has great things in store for you and you are touching so many lives on this new mission he has planned for you. Thanks so much for all you've done for me and my family. You're truly such an inspiration Gates!

  5. Thank you for reminding me to be more Christ-like.
    When things seem tough for me. I remember you. You are a wonderful example to all. Even though we do not know each other, you are helping me in
    my journey. I think of you so often and hope you are getting stronger each day. I love the updates.
    Please keep us informed as to how you are doing.
    We CARE.

  6. We went to Parsons Bakery and Costa Vida today to support Gates, but both of these establishments had no idea what we were talking about. Did we get the dates wrong?

  7. HAd a great day out running errands and supporting Gates!! Thank you Bountiful establishments for your generosity! Everywhere we went they were excited about helping out Gates. Wonderful

  8. Gates, thank you for your amazing example of strength and faith! I don't know you, but when I went to the May Day event and saw you I felt such a special spirit about you. It was as if you were an angel. Thanks for giving me the courage to face my own challenges. You have changed my life for the better.

  9. Hey Gates! I hope your having a good week I'm so glad you got to get out of the hospital and have some fun in the sun at Gateway. Your doing an awesome job keep staying positive, and never forget how many people lpve and care about you!!! Have a Fantastic day :)