Chesapeake, Va. - She has organized countless fund-raisers to send care packages to Marines overseas in honor of her son killed in combat. We surprised her recently at one of those fund-raisers to present her with a People Taking Action award!
At the Lockside Bar and Grill in Chesapeake, there was a full house to help raise money for the Cody Childers Memorial Fund. And once again in the middle of it all organizing this effort is Cody's mom, Wendy.
She found out we were there to honor her.
It was Marty Weir who sent us an this email. She read a portion of it.
"I am in disbelief that this unbelievable woman has never been nominated for News Channel 3's People Taking Action Award! I think it is because we have seen Wendy and her family featured often on Channel 3 over the years," says Weir.
Childers has been busy regularly organizing fundraisers at fast food restaurants, bowling alleys, car shows all to raise money to buy all kinds of snacks and treats to go into care packages to be sent to Marines overseas.
It all started more than four years ago with her son Cody serving in Afghanistan. He would share his care packages and soon was asking his family to send extra stuff for fellow Marines not receiving anything from home.
In August of 2010, Cody's life was cut short during combat. Nearly 4,000 care packages have been sent thanks to Wendy.
"She is such a kind and generous person who has managed to turn what many of us would deem an unbearable life event into one of the most productive and beautiful ways to honor someone."
For those reasons we were honored to present Wendy Childers with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.
Wendy was thankful, but stressed this has always been about carrying on the mission of her son.
"It's always been about Cody and showing our Marines that we appreciate them, and that's what makes...that drives me everyday. What would Cody me want me to be doing? And I think I'm doing it hopefully. I hope he's proud of me."
On the day of this presentation, it would've been Cody's 24th birthday.
"It's hard of course."
Wendy adds the pain of Cody's loss is still fresh.
"It wasn't supposed to be like this obviously. He's supposed to be here. I'm cooking him a steak. You know God has a plan for everybody. I never questioned what happened. This is what was supposed to happen. Look what Cody has done for all these Marines. It's important to me I do this for him. It's been my therapy, it has, I mean it has. It's been a therapy for me because I think it's what he would want me to be doing."
If you would like to help Wendy take action for Cody, click here for more information on how you can help keeps his mission alive