One of the most heartbreaking stories to come out of Saturday’s deadly bus crash is that of 1-year-old Chase Phelps.
The little boy, who will turn 2 in October, lost both his parents when the bus flipped over on Keystone Avenue. Youth pastor Chad Phelps, his pregnant wife Courtney, and Tonya Weindorf all lost their lives in the accident.
But in the wake of the tragedy has come an uplifting show of generosity.
“We’re just seeing how the Lord is working,” said Tyler Willis. “And he always works much more abundantly than we ever ask or think.”
Willis was a lifelong friend of Chad Phelps. They went to school together, graduated together, and served as best man at each other’s weddings. When Willis heard the terrible news about the crash on Saturday, he and his wife Elaine immediately thought of little Chase.
“We knew people wanted to help, so we wanted to create a tool that made it easy,” Willis said.
That tool became an online fundraising site to collect money for family members who will be taking care of Chase. The goal was to raise $20,000 by the time Chase turns 2 on October 25.
That goal was met and surpassed in about two days–by Tuesday afternoon, the total was nearing $30,000.
“Whether they were immediate needs, or whether it’s future investing into the life of Chase,” Willis told Fox 59.
Willis knows that Chase will be loved by a strong family support system, but he hopes the fundraiser will help ease any financial burden they may face in the near or distant future. He also hopes to stay involved with his friend’s little boy throughout his life.
“That’s something that I hope to convey to Chase many times throughout his life, is how much of an impact his dad made on my life,” Wills said.
Meantime, a similar online fundraising effort for the family of Tony Weindorf was picking up momentum. It had raised more than $6,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
“She had five kids, a special needs kid, worked so hard, gave her life,” said Weindorf’s twin brother Tony Grahn. “She was worn out, and maybe God was just saying, ‘Well done now good and faithful servant. Take your rest.’”
If you’d like to donate to either effort, you can find the weblinks below: