There’s no question that 17-year-old Carly Dunham has a good heart. For years she has raised pigs and put them in her local 4-H livestock auction in Michigan. This past summer, she pinned her hopes on raising money from her pigs for a different reason… a very special reason.
Carly found out that a local mom of four, Dana Saboo, had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer. And, of course, there were medical bills to deal with that. Carly felt moved to do something about that. She wanted to enter one of her pigs, named Blake, into the auction, and whatever money he brought, Carly was going to donate it to Dana for her medical expenses. But when the time came, there was a problem. A big pig problem. Blake weighed 315 pounds, and the weight limit for pigs at the auction was set at 299 pounds.
Carly thought about it. And she decided she wasn’t about to give up on her plans with Blake. So she took a photo of her big pig and explained her situation and intent to the auctioneers with the 4-H program. And those auctioneers, because of what Carly planned to do with the money raised, decided to make an exception. During the actual auction, as Carly prepared to show Blake, one of the auction officials told the large crowd that had gathered about Carly’s purpose for getting her slightly overweight pig in the auction.
Says one of the auction managers, Jason Clark, in a Facebook post: “My first number was 5 bucks a pound and when about five hands went in the air I knew we were in business. When the bidding quit, it sold for $24 a pound […] and the whole building exploded with cheering.”
But then, something even more unexpected happened. The company that had the winning bid donated the pig back to the auction to, again, be auctioned off. Supermarket chain Meijer won the pig the second time around at $20 a pound. And when all was finally said and done, that slightly overweight pig that the officials made an exception for… raised nearly $14,000, money that would go to Dana and her family to take care of medical expenses.
Carly was so overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity that she cried when it was all over. And Dana’s husband, Duke, was extremely thankful for what had happened.
Writes Duke in a Facebook post: “Carly, thanks doesn’t seem enough for what you did with your pig. You make me want to be a better person, everyone that does something for the family does. We can’t say thank you enough, the community has surrounded us and let us know that you are in this fight too.”
Carly stepped out of her own wants and needs and put someone else… someone not even in her own family… first. It just goes to show that helping others is always worth the effort.