Sometimes out of the saddest stories, come the brightest acts of the human heart. Such is the case in the rural community of Galva, Illinois where a local farmer, Carl Bates, was unable to reap his own harvest as he struggled against a terminal cancer. Distraught, his family was fighting a two-sided battle against the hands of time. Not only were they in danger of losing their beloved Carl, but it was only a matter of days until it would be too late to harvest their primary source of income.
What happened next would baffle the imaginations of both a family and a nation. In a desperate plea for help, Bates reached out to a couple of farmers in town. Galva is a small and close-knit community, so the word spread like wildfire. An army of farmers showed up to help harvest Carl’s land. There were a total of 10 combines, 16 grain trucks, and about 40 people willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. Local businesses got in on the action as well, donating equipment and food to keep the good Samaritans fed and fueled.
With all of these resources gathered together something truly amazing happened. In only 10 hours the farmers were able to harvest 450 acres — a feat that would normally take a full week. A community of farmers were able to put aside their own fieldwork, and truly dedicate their time, energy, and resources to the cause.
The Bates family was blown away by this communal act of kindness and generosity. Once Carl was cleared to leave his hospital bed, he took to the passenger seat of a pickup truck and went out to personally thank everyone who came to help. But Carl’s story doesn’t end at harvest-time. The love and sacrifice of this small community has made its way across the internet, inspiring millions of people to commit other random acts of kindness. Carl says, “With all the kind thoughts and prayers, it’s been very humbling and heartfelt and has meant a lot to the family. We are all dumbfounded that this story has traveled so far and done so much”.
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