Strangers raise money for young crash survivors

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. — What started as a simple bake sale grew into a full-blown festival to benefit three young survivors of a devastating car crash in Texas.

Members of Congregation Gesher L’Torah in Alpharetta organized a fundraiser on Sunday for the Berry Children of Houston.

Joshua and Robin Berry were killed in a car accident in July while on their way home from a family vacation in Colorado.

“There was a sense of loss that was unimaginable,” said Beth Greenwald, who lived in Houston before moving to Alpharetta three years ago.

The Berrys’ sons, Peter, 9, and Aaron, 8, suffered spinal injuries in the crash. They’re both being treated at the Shriners Hospital Pediatric Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program in Chicago.

Their sister, Willa, 6, had some broken bones. The children’s aunt and uncle have been named legal guardians.

“To explain it to my children, to explain the impact to this community and for them to see the impact on our family was something that I hope we never have to do, again,” Greenwald said. “It was incredibly difficult.”

Greenwald knows the family well, but most of the people who attended Sunday’s benefit didn’t know them at all.

And yet, Rabbi Michael Bernstein said everyone can relate to what happened.

“You think about your own children. You think about your own parents,” said Rabbi Bernstein. “You think about whoever could be involved, and you feel helpless. But instead of giving up hope, we try to do acts of kindness.”

Sunday’s benefit was part of a national movement, with communities across the country raising money for the Berry Children’s Trust Fund.

For more information or to make a donation, you can go to this Facebook page set up by family and friends.

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