RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – When a local man lost three members of his immediate family within weeks, immediately longtime friends in the Sandston Moose Lodge showered him with comfort.
Now they're showing him the money. Their compassion is this week's Act of Kindness.
"I saw it on the television, like I said, after all that he's been through, anybody needs an Act of Kindness, Mike needs an Act of Kindness," said Pat Stillete.
Stillete and fellow lodge member Biff Johnson say it's been a summer of sorrow for their longtime friend Mike.
"His whole family just went at one time, his wife, his mother and his father," he said.
They were heartbroken when Mike's wife of 20 years, Peggy, died in June.
"It was a shock to us when she died, even though she was in the hospital and she was sick, she was so young, oh yeah 43," he said.
In July, they were jolted by the death of J.T., Mike's favorite fishing and hunting partner.
"His dad was just visiting and had a massive heart attack and just died," Stillete said.
Four weeks later tragedy struck a third time with the death of Mike's mom, Ann.
"His mom died August 12," he said. "He was completely devastated at first, but it seems like to me now, he's just holding on, wouldn't you call it that?"
He's had little time to mourn, he's had to be strong.
"He's got a young daughter to raise, he's gotta do what he's gotta do, that's all he can do," Stillete said.
These friends say money's not Mike's main concern. The gesture is just a reminder, He can always count on them.
As we set off to meet Mike at his job, Biff tells me he's more than a friend, he's become another son.
"Yeah, he's a good boy, he really is, he's got a lot of heart, yeah a lot of heart," Johnson said.
We're meeting mike at the AutoZone, where he's a manager and Biff is a frequent customer.
So Mike's hardly surprised to see them, but he quickly learns it's not business as usual.
"I submitted your name for an Act of Kindness and I have $300 to give you," he said.
"Thank y'all, he said you're like a son to him, yeah, I've relied a lot on him, nah, I get a hug."
Mike tells me he's trying to take things one day of at time, but at times, it's tough.
Mike's been busy settling his parent's estate, finalizing the headstone he designed for his wife and focusing on being the best father he can be to 13-year-old Taylor, the child doctors said he and Peggy would likely never have.
"Then I got one and love her to death," Mike said. "And friends, she's got a whole lot of moms, she was our miracle child, she was our miracle child, ohh."
Mike says he won't keep the cash, he's passing it on to Taylor. "I think this is going straight into her savings account," he said.
Everything else he needs, he already has.
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