Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 23, 2012

Small Business Saturday event to benefit Cai’s Journey

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — Small Business Saturday could turn into a way to help a 6-year-old Ashland boy in his recovering from a complicated surgery.

Gibbs Hardware stores owners C.C. and Julie Gibbs will be donating 10 percent of Saturday’s sales at both of their locations — 942 13th Street in Ashland and 670 South Highway 7 in Grayson — to Cai’s Journey.

Cai Helms has experienced long-lasting complications and been through several surgeries since his battle with meningitis as an infant. When doctors told his mother, Shanna Helms, his legs might need to be amputated, she would not accept that outcome for her son. After much research, she found a doctor in Florida who said he could help the boy maintain use of his legs.

Shanna has had several devastating setbacks on the journey, including losing their van after it unexpectedly caught fire.

“We want to help Cai, that’s the main thing in a nutshell,” C.C. Gibbs said. “After I saw her last post (on Facebook), the turmoil they had on the way down, I was moved to help.”

Small Business Saturday takes place the day after Black Friday. It’s a movement that was started last year by American Express. Anyone who has an American Express card can register it for a $25 credit on items bought that day.

“You can spend $25, get a $25 credit and we’re going to throw 10 percent on top of it to Cai,” Gibbs said.

Shanna Helms is Gibbs’ cousin. Her father was Jim Gibbs, who sold C.C. and Julie the hardware store in 2003. They have since built another store in Grayson.

Gibbs also said if anyone wants to donate anything by check to Cai’s Journey and drop it off at either storie, they will match 15 percent of what they donate to the cause.

“I want to push people to help that cause,” he said.

Gibbs also encourages area shoppers to support the local stores on Small Business Saturday. He estimated 80 percent of the businesses are local.

Cai Helms continues his journey despite the many setbacks. The family was $5,000 shy going into the last trip before losing the van.

To follow to progress of Helms and her son, visit the Cai’s Journey Facebook page.

Donations can be made to 4200 Shannon Drive, Ashland, KY 41102 or the Cai’s Journey account at Peoples Bank in Ashland.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.