By: Megan A. Wilson, Contributing Writer
This winter the South family is showing that their generosity and can do attitude really has no boundaries.
When Carrie South watched the television in their home and was shocked to see images of the destruction wrought by tornadoes, she knew they had to take action.
“My wife told me that we just had to do something, and I said okay,” said Bob South who owns No Boundaries, a bicycle and athletics shop in Boyne City.
Carrie South was born in Evansville, Indiana, which is directly west of the area that has been impacted by the tornadoes.
“This was a pretty common area for us to drive through on the way to visit my folks, I’ve been through tornadoes before, but I’ve never lost anything.” said Carrie South.
“My wife and I went to college in Indiana and we lived in Indianapolis, so this whole thing is near our hearts,” said South.
After South and his wife saw the news reports their children viewed them and wanted to take action.
“It was really sad because we used to live near there and we knew how scary it was when you heard on the news that there was a tornado coming, they didn’t have any warning or hear about it,” said Laken South. “I haven’t been through any tornadoes, just warnings but they’re pretty scary.”
South has three children, Laken 13, AJ 9, and Keira 5, all students of the Boyne City School District.
“This whole thing has been a family idea”, said Robert South. “We do a lot of fund raising for charity, our charity of choice is Challenge Mountain.”
When Robert South approached Jim Baumann, Executive Director of the Boyne Chamber with the idea, Baumann he never expected the kind of support he got.
“I think it’s a great thing he’s doing”, said Baumann. “I know Bob and it doesn’t surprise me because that’s just the way he is.”
The Chamber put South in contact with Tracy Donaldson, manager of the Boyne City Glen’s Market.
Since Tuesday March 6 there has been a collection box at Glen’s Market, and also one at No Boundaries.
“When you see the devastation that these people are going through you just can’t believe it”, said Donaldson. “If someone else is doing the hard work, all you can do is help.”
The response from the community has been overwhelming, South drove down to Indiana Saturday March 10 and had to take a trailer because he couldn’t get everything into his car.
“One of the most thoughtful donations we had was someone who dropped off feminine hygiene products”, said Bob South. “It’s not something you think of, but it’s definitely needed.”
Other items that were collected were toiletry items, nonperishable food items, and baby and pet supplies.
The South family did have some messages they wanted to send out to the community.
“We want to thank everyone who came forward and contributed to this effort.”, said Carrie South.
Laken South advised, “Help out when people are in need and live life to the fullest because you never know when anything bad will happen.”
“If every person had some sort of component of giving back as part of their normal life it would be so much better, and it makes you feel good.”, said Bob South.