In August 2019, our magazines featured a story about Tommy Akins, the gentleman with the purposeful gait, who you’ve likely seen running on Bells Ferry Road through the years. This article went viral, getting hundreds of comments and shares, offering words of encouragement for our new friend. Tommy openly shared about his life as a dad, grandpa, artist, former executive and cancer survivor, satisfying the curiosity of all who have passed him over the years. Despite his debilitating physical health challenges, Tommy believed that you “move it or lose it,” and he used his runs as time to connect with God. Little did he know what an inspiration he has been to so many.
Tommy hasn’t been running lately, and we’ve heard from so many people who are concerned about him. Tommy’s church community recently reached out to Everyday Angels, asking for help in rallying our community around him once again. We know Tommy well enough to know he would never ask for himself.
Tommy’s health has declined; he is living temporarily with a church friend. His church family would like our help in finding a more permanent living situation for him.
“Every Sunday we pick up Tommy and take him to church, where he is most happy. His friends rotate taking him boxes of food and, in typical Tommy fashion, he insists upon sharing his food with others who he feels are less fortunate than he,” his friend Doug said.
“Tommy is humble and needs very little, but what he does need is to be closer to his church, friends and the community who loves him. His church community has put together a plan but we need to appeal to our community to help us help our friend.”
It’s easy to see what a heart Tommy has for helping others. When we wrote about families who have suffered unbearable loss, Tommy would volunteer to paint and donate the paintings to them. Tommy assigns to each of his paintings a special Scripture that speaks to him as he paints, allowing his work to glorify God. He also has sent donations to featured families, even though he needed the money for himself. Tommy continues to glorify God through his own personal and physical suffering. When we asked him to share the Scripture he recites daily, without hesitation he replied: “Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in the darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Micah 7:8 NIV.
There are several ways to help Tommy. Even a small donation from many of you will make a big impact on Tommy’s well-being. We’d also love to share with him words of encouragement through cards and letters from those of you who would like to help in that way. If you have been touched by our friend over the years as we have, please consider helping. Everyday Angels will accept donations and collaborate closely with his church community to ensure Tommy is safe and receiving the care he needs and deserves.
– Everyday Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Cherokee County since 2000. To make a tax deductible donation, visit www.everydayangels.info to donate via Paypal, or send your donations to: Everyday Angels, PMB 380, 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Suite 620, Woodstock, GA 30189. One hundred percent of your funds will go to the family you specify. If you know of a special need in our community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.