Dear Editor: On Oct. 1, I got a phone call no parent ever wants to get. My daughter, Victoria Mueller, had been in an accident. She is lucky to be alive, but her journey is far from over. What is incredible, though, is the fact that this is a journey she and our family will not take alone.
We want to say thank you to our community and the surrounding areas. We have been blessed by so many loving people … some we have never met and others who are very near and dear to us.
The overwhelming show of support has been a blessing to Victoria as well as our entire family.
She has received cards, flowers, and stuffed animals from so many awesome people. She even received a sweatshirt from retired Admiral Bob Harward straight from Washington D.C. and the U.S. Naval Academy.
We continue to be speechless with these random acts of kindness.
From the well-wishes from teams near and far posted on our page #vickiestrong, to posting videos chanting her name, to various schools making banners -- including the JCFD hanging a gigantic banner, signed by so many, and the bucket truck at the Homecoming game -- we continue to be amazed at how people from all over southern Illinois have shown their support.
Several schools such as Herrin, Edwards County, Pinckneyville, Vienna, Du Quoin, and more have held fundraisers such as 50/50 drawings and donated them to Vickie. These displays of sportsmanship show us what loving hearts the people of southern Illinois have.
Our own school, Johnston City HS, has gone above and beyond.
As soon as this happened, I had numerous messages and calls letting me know how much they intended to do to help, and boy have they come on full force to do everything they can to do so.
Linda and Ed Adkins made bumper stickers, the T-shirt sales have soared to well over 400 (which the embroidery shop in Thompsonville has made at their cost -- thank you Kendra Grant), plus various clubs within the school such as student council held fundraisers during Homecoming week, the HOSA club donated their 50/50 and the winner, Ashley Dickerson, donated her winnings back.
The teachers and staff have worked so hard on all of this. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. They sold bracelets, T-shirts, decals and bumper stickers at last week's football game, and with the help of 17th Street BBQ's donation, more than $1,000 was raised. Don Sol in Marion will also conduct a fundraiser this Monday (Oct 30), giving 10 percent of all sales at the restaurant to Victoria.
We also have Jerry Womick doing a pork butt fundraiser for us this Saturday (Oct. 28).
Additionally, Victoria received a letter from Murphysboro High School Principal Tony Wilson, accompanied by a check from a school fundraiser totaling $180. More important than the cash amount, the letter stated to take the family to dinner or something else nice.
We are so eternally grateful for everything everyone has done to help Victoria. She is truly blessed by all of you.
A journey of one thousand miles starts with a single step, says Lao Tzu.
With all of the people in this wonderful area we call home, we are ready to take on that journey of 1,000 miles because you all have given us those single steps to keep us going. Thank you all.