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Local 7-Year-Old Spurring Effort to Help a Stoughton Grandmother and Her Young Grandson

Learning a lesson about changing the world from a Stoughton grandmother and a 7-year old girl.

Editor's Note: A Stoughton woman is raising her grandson because his parents are addicted to heroin, but she is about to lose her home. She works but needs money for childcare to keep him. Her story is told through a Dedham 7-year-old and her mother, who are leading the effort to help "Save Nathan."

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“Think Globally, Act Locally.”

We’ve all heard this statement and probably even said it ourselves, but have you ever stopped to think about just exactly what it means? It’s saying that in order to change the world you have to start somewhere . . . and that somewhere may as well be your own backyard. Because of the big heart of my 7-year-old daughter Georgia, I learned this lesson firsthand.

Jean Fox is a friend of a friend and lives in Stoughton. When her grandson Nathan was born almost three years ago to a heroin-addicted mother, Jean knew what she had to do. She immediately filed for emergency guardianship to keep Nathan out of the Foster Care system and since that day has given everything to this little boy.

Once an extremely sick baby (addicted to opiates at birth), he is now a sweet and happy child who loves “his Nanny” more than anything else in the world.  Although he still has a host of medical issues as a result of his delicate first year of life, he is living proof that love does, indeed, conquer all.

And while she wouldn’t trade a minute of her time with Nathan, it has drained Jean of her life savings and she is now going to lose her home of 23 years.  Although she has a Masters in Education, last year she took a job as a Teaching Assistant in order to get health insurance and attempt to make ends meet. 

However, the tiny salary isn’t enough to cover her mortgage, food, bills and daycare for Nathan (which, as a working “Mom,” she needs).

She has written to senators, congressmen, state agencies, reporters and even celebrities, asking for them to help her find a way out of this financial crisis. In February, her bank will foreclose on her house and if she becomes homeless then Nathan goes into the Foster Care System. Jean will do anything to keep that from happening.

When our neighbor Martha suggested taking up a collection for Jean, Georgia began asking questions – A LOT of questions – about why this was happening.  Martha told me how sweet it was that Georgia had taken $7 from her wallet to donate and it inspired me too. I asked her if she would like to tell Jean’s story so that more people would have the chance to help; she agreed and we went straight to work.

We decided to make a video of Jean and Nathan where Georgia would ask the questions that people would want to know the answers to. When we pulled up to Jean’s home and she threw her arms around us, we felt as though we were meeting a celebrity. Nathan laughed and played with Georgia and loved the red soccer ball that she brought him as a gift. So much so, that apparently he slept with it in his bed and is looking forward to his next “play date with Georgia.”

This holiday season, I ask you to Think Globally, Act Locally. Watch the video and share it with others. Donate $5 or $10 or $25 or whatever you can spare.  Become inspired by a woman who has sacrificed everything for one little boy and for the first time in her life, can’t offer to help someone else because she needs it herself. You may be just one person, but together we can change the lives of Jean and Nathan . . . and yes, maybe even the world.

Georgia sure does believe that. And you know what? If she does, then I do too. 

To donate to the Save Nathan Fund, visit www.indiegogo.com/savenathan.

Theresa Homsey November 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I had custody of my grandson for 5 years and I got state assistance AND free daycare. I would gladly try to help with any info that I can. I know exactly how you feel. Now I have 4 grandchildren and about to be taken away from their mother but I ca't afford to take on 4 more kids, we can barely keep our heads above water right now. Let me know what I can do.
Alex Shumway November 28, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Would you mind emailing me how you got the state assistance and free daycare? She is currently on a 6-year waiting list for the $1000/month voucher and has been told numerous times that she can't jump to the top of the list.

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