One Wednesday evening in March, Georgetown’s Mesquite Creek Outfitters demonstrated the Georgetown mantra that no matter how long you’ve been here, you’re family. When owner Cody Hirt put out the word that there was a family in need—in a matter of hours—the town came together under his roof to raise money for an Afghan refugee family who were in need of a vehicle.
Editor Note: Out of courtesy and for safety’s sake, we’ll call our new friends “Joe” and “Fazal”.
Fazal worked for the U.S. military in Eastern Afghanistan and was evacuated with his wife and five young children last year. They recently arrived in Texas and are being sponsored—officially and unofficially—by Army CWO3 “Joe,” his wife, and five other service members.
Having been in Texas for just over one month, Fazal mentioned to Joe that he was ready for work to provide for his wife and children. Joe reached out to his neighbors and his friend Rory Pettway posted the request on Facebook. The ultimate goal was to purchase a reliable car for Fazal’s commute and the family’s general use.
Cody saw the post and, not content to just send money, he spent three days setting up, sharing, and hosting what became a indisputable fundraising success. He said, “To go from a Facebook message to this, in the course of about three days, shows exactly what this community is built on.”
Cody was hoping people might come in and give money to help, but he was elated to see bottles of liquor, guns, and coupons for boating come through the door for a silent auction. He also stationed jars and QR codes for cash donations around the store for anyone who wanted to give. During the two-hour event, friends old and new milled about and placed bids while enjoying drinks and fellowship.
Cody himself spent most of the night visiting with patrons and guests and remarked, “Word spread well beyond our circle to the rest of the Square and the town beyond. It felt like a welcoming party and was a wonderful opportunity to greet old friends and meet new people.”
THE LARGEST LARGESSE
The evening was a success of fundraising and at the closer, Cody and Rory delighted the crowd with the revelation that they had already purchased a car for Fazal’s family. “We did not want to wait for the money to come in from the event before helping Fazal. We had the car parked behind the building and all the money we raise tonight will help pay the balance on the note. Everything left over will be given to Fazal for other needs like diapers for their baby. We just wanted to make sure we had a safe and reliable car ready for his use as quickly as possible.”
Fazal and Joe also attended the event and, upon hearing the news, became emotional and promised a hug to Cody and everyone who went above and beyond to help. “He wants to start providing for his family so he wants to get to work,” Cody said. “How cool is this that we can get together and provide an opportunity for someone?”
MOST GENEROUS CITY
Cash and auction donations totaled $16,400 by night’s end and easily surpassed the balance on the vehicle. Cody and his friends continue to accept donations through the end of April via the QR code at right and all money will be given to Fazal’s family. He adds, “Georgetown’s sense of family is not limited to where someone is from. I’ve lived all over the state of Texas, and you just don’t find this anywhere else. People really care about each other.” Rory echoed his sentiment and shared his appreciation for so many in Georgetown who helped.
Following the event, an associate of Mesquite Creek Outfitters approached Cody about a job for Fazal. Cody explained, “Now that he has a vehicle, he could easily work in landscaping or other service position but that will wear him out. My friend wishes to give Fazal a job and an apprenticeship as an electrician. This is not just a paycheck, but an important trade and skill set; he will eventually be an electrician and can build his own company over time. Just another example of how people in Georgetown believe in and want to love on others.”
Click to help Fazal and his family achieve the American dream.