Hephzibah orphans plan fundraiser for Texas family in Oak Park

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A group of Oak Park orphans is planning a fundraiser this afternoon for two Texas kids left without parents after a tragic car accident last month.

Joshua Berry, 41, and his wife Robin, 40, were killed instantly in the head-on collision the evening of July 2 outside of Houston. Their 6-year-old daughter Willa suffered broken bones, while her brothers Aaron, 8, and Peter, 9, were left paralyzed from the waist down.

Last week, the two Berry boys were relocated to Oak Park to begin their treatment at Shriners Hospital for Children, located just north of the village in Chicago's Galewood neighborhood, and are being cared for by their aunt and uncle.

Mary Ann Brown, executive director for the Hephzibah Children's Association, was touched by the story from the July 27 issue of Wednesday Journal, and read it to a group of 10 orphans staying with the organization at 946 North Blvd.

The children wanted to do something to help, according to Brown. They're donating some of their toys to the Berry boys, and holding a lemonade stand from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. today in front of Hephzibah to raise money for the family.

"They have a real spirit and they're very giving, even though they've lost everything," Brown said. "You think of the things that mean the most to you, and then one day, to not have any of that — family, housing, clothes. So, it's always nice to see that they can think kindly and sympathetically about other situations, and not feel sorry for themselves."

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Sully (Leader of the Orphans) from Tremont, Bronx  

Posted: August 7th, 2011 7:33 PM

After The Warriors escape from the Turnbull AC's, they think they are home free. Unfortunately, a train station is on fire forcing The Warriors to walk through Tremont which is the turf of the Orphans. The Orphans are not very well known (and are very low class), and didn't even know about the conclave in The Bronx as they are not on the Riff's network. Mercy, who originally hangs around with the Orphans, decides to ditch them in favour of The Warriors as she was "looking fo

Lisa from Oak Park from Oak Park, IL   

Posted: August 7th, 2011 2:35 PM

Folks...really? Kids are trying to do something nice and all you can comment on is semantics used in the story? Please start looking past the ends of your noses and join the world again!Get with the program!

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: August 7th, 2011 10:54 AM

Using the word, Orphan, is not the correct word when referring to the children at Hephzibah, unless Marty knows for a fact that the group of children really are Orphan's. If he doesn't, then someone get Marty a dictionary, and learn how to report the facts correctly, because if this is wrong, how many other things has he reported incorrectly?


Posted: August 6th, 2011 5:11 PM

I too agree that the kids who are currently living at Hephzibah are not and should not be said to be "orphans". Hephzibah as I understand it is a temporary placement for children to live either short or long term, the goal to be placed back with their families. Not because they are "orphans". Its a sad story that really should not of been overseen by the use of a no longer used, incorrect label for the children living at Hephzibah.

epic lulz  

Posted: August 5th, 2011 3:48 PM

If it was good enough for Oliver and Annie...

Molly from Oak Park  

Posted: August 5th, 2011 3:20 PM

Thank you Oak Park.com for sharing this story. The Hephzibah kids raised $540 for the Berry children. They will be having another Lemondade Stand next Friday so if you didn't have a chance to stop by today please stop by on Friday August 12 from 1-3pm.

label me  

Posted: August 5th, 2011 3:00 PM

I agree with Sam. Just seeing "orphans" in the headline is shocking and very dated. How might the kids feel when they look at the Wednesday Journal and see themselves labeled as 'orphans'? I suspect it might be a little upsetting when they would rather focus on their lemonade sales. Like Sam said, it is both inaccurate and unnecessary. Great work at Hephzibah, as always.


Posted: August 5th, 2011 2:48 PM

I don't want to be overly politically correct, but "orphans"? Alot of the kids Hephzibah helps are kids who in crisis, but they still have parents. Wouldn't be ok just to call them "Hephzibah kids"?

Lisa Dodge from Oak Park  

Posted: August 5th, 2011 1:27 PM

Sometimes good things come from bad...how nice of these children to do something so selfless...it gives me hope for the future of our country...this is the kind of spirit that we used to be known for throughout the world...thanks kids!

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