Fundraising in West Newbury to Help the Family of a Deceased Sailor | New
WEST NEWBURY – Many members of the community gathered for a fundraiser this past weekend in an attempt to ease the burden on the family of the late Sgt. Johanny Rosario de Lawrence, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in August.
A group of volunteers, led by a retired Marine Corps reservist, collected donations from customers coming and going at West Newbury Foodmart – as well as passers-by – including young people on bicycles. The group raised $ 500 in a matter of hours last Saturday, with two additional donations of $ 100 made directly to a GoFundMe set up for the soldier’s family, after donors saw volunteers fundraise outside the local store. More than money, however, the fundraising group says their efforts were aimed at honoring the young soldier’s sacrifice and letting his family know that they are not alone during this difficult time.
Rosario, 25, was one of 13 soldiers killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport on August 26. According to the GoFundMe page created in his name, this was his second deployment to Afghanistan; the first was when she was 18. Assigned to the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade Naval Support Activity in Bahrain, Rosario was deployed shortly after the collapse of the Afghan government on August 15.
As well as being a selfless Marine helping desperate people fleeing a life under the Taliban, Sgt. Johanny held her family’s torch in Lawrence … She was the constant force the family sought for her strength and moral support. She was truly their hero. She had to pull up the straps of her boots and walk to overcome the hardships and insecurities at home, “the website says, noting that news of her death has left her family” shattered. and lost ”.
Her sister Rosalinda’s employer ran a GoFundMe campaign on her behalf, with all funds going directly to Rosie, as she is affectionately known at work. Rosie has sole responsibility for looking after the mother of the two sisters. As of this week, the account has raised $ 121,610.
“Something hit me with Sgt. The death of Rosario. I didn’t know her, but the Marines – and all the men and women in the military for that matter – have a connection, ”said the organizer of the fundraising effort at Foodmart, who asked that all volunteers stay. anonymous, repeatedly pointing out that the efforts were focused on Sgt. Rosario, not themselves.
“The timing of his death – coupled with the unrest surrounding the evacuation – contributed to my feelings,” said the organizer. “I think what really struck me, though, was that she seemed like someone I’d like to know. The more I read about her, the more I felt I knew her and decided I had to. take action I was unable to attend his memorial services, so I figured I would try my hand at fundraising.
Having served during an “unprecedented period of peace” in the 1980s and never facing the impacts of war, the organizer frequently contributes to efforts to help veterans and their causes where possible.
To turn this outpouring of compassion into reality, the organizer contacted the Food Mart management – who enthusiastically endorsed the plan – then spread the word throughout the community, assembled a team of volunteers to take care of the plan. the donation table; and verified the validity of the GoFundMe with the veterans officer in Lawrence.
When it was over, the volunteers were encouraged by the wide variety of donors who supported their efforts – “from the many young children who pulled up to the penniless people who cleaned their cars and purses to find food. the change, to the people who dropped some of the bigger bills and everything, ”they said.
“Sergeant Rosario – just an ordinary person who has chosen to put his life in danger for our safety – made the ultimate sacrifice,” said the organizer, and encouraged the community to continue to contribute what they can. way to honor the life and loss of this American hero.
To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/us-marine-corps-sgt-johanny-rosario