Gary was just 2-years-old when his mother broke his leg – for the second time.

That’s all it took for the state of Georgia to give Gary’s father permanent custody of his young son.

Americans Helping Americans® partner Ann Fleming, executive director of Caring Hands Ministries in Cleveland, Georgia, will never forget the first time she met Gary.

“He was a frail, sad-looking boy the first time he came to the community Christmas dinner,” Ann told us. “He didn’t eat well and was very shy.”

Gary eventually began to put his faith in Ann, and when he was in junior high he “discovered” Facebook and would message her when he was having a particularly bad day.

While Gary survived that traumatic time in his life, the next two years were very rough on him. He was expelled from school and got in trouble with the law.

But despite those challenges, Ann never gave up on Gary who would still turn up at Caring Hands from time to time to help out.

And throughout all those years, Americans Helping Americans® was able to provide Gary with a little extra assistance to be able to be prepared for class on the first day of school with a backpack filled with supplies and warm in the winter with a heavy coat to wear while waiting at the bus stop on a frigid morning.

Gary started to do well in school and made the wrestling team even though he was its smallest and weakest member.

Through hard work and determination to make something of himself, along with encouragement and support from Ann, this year Gary is a state wrestling champion, is set to graduate with honors, and just signed on for a full scholarship a local college.

“Many thanks to Americans Helping Americans® for providing him with the means to help him stay connected.”