I have this AMAZING brother. I can't even begin to tell you about all of the wonderful things he does for other people. He coaches basketball for one of the private schools here in town, and he has for years and years. He basically makes about 25 cents an hour for coaching. That might sound like an exaggeration, but I promise you, it's not. He spends HOURS coaching, and makes very little money for it. But he doesn't do it because he gets paid, he does it because he loves it. And I mean LOVES it! And they LOVE him!
Scott started coaching when he was in 7th grade. He started coaching clinic ball with the 3rd/4th graders. He then moved on to 5th/6th graders, then 7th/8th graders, and now he coaches high school. He's 41 years old. That's A LOT of years of coaching. And he's VERY good. VERY, VERY good. He sees and understands the game like no one I've ever met. He loves his players, and they love him. (He coaches girls, by the way. He once told me he'll never coach boys again because they think they know everything, but the girls listen). :)
Of course I'm a little biased, so let me tell you how I KNOW they love him. You see, my brother is a big guy. I mean a BIG guy. Here's a picture of him:
But he is also an AMAZING guy. One of the guys he coaches with, Keith, described him as having a heart as big as his body. And that's so true.
So anyway, about 2 months ago, my Dad called to ask my opinion about something. He had gotten a call from Keith telling him they, the coaches and a couple of his closest friends, were VERY concerned about his weight. They said it's been slowing him down and he just looks miserable. He's been there for about 15 years, and they want him to be around for 15+ more. So they got together and decided that they were going to help him, as long as he was receptive to it. They called Dad to see how they thought Scott would take it. Dad then called me to ask my opinion. I told him Scott's not stupid. He KNOWS he needs to lose weight. *I* need to lose weight, and I'm not as big as him. He KNOWS. So it's not like it's some new information they're giving him. But I think he'll take it okay because of who it's coming from. These guys ADORE him. And so do the girls' he coaches. They are doing this because they want him to be around for many more years. So yeah, he might get his feelings hurt, but he'll be okay, because he knows it's coming out of love.
So the guys told Scott they were having a coach's meeting. Only when he showed up, they told him it WASN'T a coach's meeting, it was about him. They were concerned about his weight and they thought he needed to do something, and if he agreed, they were here to help him. They said he was very receptive to it. He told them he knew something needed to be done, but he couldn't afford to do anything major. Well that's where THEY come in. THEY ARE PAYING FOR EVERYTHING! Y'all, I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Biggest Loser Resort, but a 4 week stay, which is what he's staying, costs $10,000! $10,000! And they're covering it all. The number of people that have stepped up to help fund this, is absolutely amazing. It seems like people have been coming out of the woodwork. They're getting cards and letters on a weekly basis with money from people he's known over the years. The people he's paying rent to? They're not charging him rent the month he's gone. His boss? He told him his health was more important than his job and that he will STILL have a job when he gets back. (Keep in mind, he's going to be gone for 30 days)! And here's the other thing, the guys that started this, they are going to CONTINUE helping him when he gets back. They aren't going to leave him high and dry. They're going to exercise with him. They're going to eat healthier with him. They're going to help him make a complete lifestyle change.
But there's still MORE to the story. One of the guys that started this was telling me about his daughter. She's a senior in high school, and Scott's been coaching her for years. When her Dad told her what was going on, she told him she had $158 in the bank, and she wanted to donate $100 of it to Scott. Do you KNOW how HUGE that is? Here's this 17 year old kid that is taking more than HALF of the money she has saved, and is donating it to Scott's fund. THAT'S the kind of effect he has on people. THAT'S the kind of person he is.
I've ALWAYS known what a great person my brother is. He was my best friend when we were kids. We did everything together. We grew up on a street with no other kids, so we just had each other until we moved when I was 5 and he was 4. And we continued to stay close. He played school with me, and I played cars with him. He always had my back, and I always had his. But he's my brother. I'm SUPPOSED to feel that way about him. Luckily, he makes it easy to love him! :) But to know that ALL these people that DON'T have to love him, DO, THAT'S amazing! THAT says something about the kind of person that he is.
The night before he left I was with him a local Sports Bar watching the University of Kentucky football game. (Yes, they suck, but they're STILL my team! :) ) That night about 30+ people came into the bar to see him before he left. Some stayed for 5 minutes, some stayed longer, but they all came to see HIM. And to wish him luck. Every time someone would talk to me about him, I would start crying. My Dad kept telling everyone, "Can you tell they're close?!" But I wasn't crying because he's leaving, I think it's a GREAT thing. I was crying because I KNOW what a huge POSITIVE change this is going to be for him. And I was crying because I know that if it wasn't for all of these amazing people loving him and seeing the good in him, the way *I* do, this would never be happening.
You see, some people look at fat people and don't give them the time of day because they don't think they're worth anything. (Believe me, I know. I've lived it pretty much most of my life). And that's a shame. Because just like they say you can't judge a book by it's cover, you also can't judge a person by their size. I know some people that are small and skinny and cute as can be; on the outside anyway. But they're not someone I want my kids to grow up to be. And I know people that are big like me and like Scott, and they're some of my favorite people, and I would LOVE for my kids to grow up to be like them. So to know that ALL of these people took the time to get to know him and love him INSPITE of his size; these KIDS that adore him, and we all know teenagers can be be pretty crappy to people that look different, to know that THEY see the beautiful person he is inside. THAT'S awesome. And I think that's an insight into him. No one deserves this outpouring of faith and love more than he does.
I am SO proud of him, and I am SO lucky to call him my brother.
So that "paying it forward" stuff. Yeah, it really does happen. I'm living it right now. And I am SO thankful to all of the wonderful people that made it happen for him. Because he deserves it. He deserves ALL of it. And yeah, maybe I'm a little biased because he's my brother, but when you have THAT many people step up to the plate and donate THAT much money, it's not just me being biased. It's him having a special place in the hearts of everyone he meets.