"Angel's" Brainchild Brings High-Tech Help

Published 02/07 2012 06:45PM

Updated 02/08 2012 11:03AM

    Facebook. It reunites old high school friends, keeps you up-to-date on your family and lets you tell the world what you're eating for lunch. But, it's also connecting those in need with those who can help. It's all because of tonight's Angel Among Us.
    The requests are simple. Clothes, furniture, food. People ask for themselves or for someone they know. They're posting on a page called "Random Acts of Kindness Central Illinois." It's a brainchild of Cyndi Lehigh.
    "I like to give hope to whoever I can."
    Cyndi has dedicated her life to spreading hope. It started with a school supplies drive, then collecting for a rummage sale for charity.
    "It's what keeps me going."
    Then a light bulb. Bring those who need and those who have together online. In a few days, there were 10 people asking for help. By the end of the week, there were 40 families. And the donations poured in.
    "The response just people coming in helping, getting everything that we needed was just, I can't explain it."
    Cheryl Allen can. She was one of those 40 families. Back in December, Cheryl was going through a divorce, her income was cut, and she couldn't find a place to live. She had nothing for Christmas.
    "We were going to be homeless. We didn't have anywhere to go. And just to think of that. It was really scary."
    But a Facebook post changed all that.
    "It was a miracle."
    Total strangers bought a tree, presents for Jaylin and for Cheryl.
    "We went from nothing to having something so it was really great."
    She also found a place to live and her life was back on track.
    "It really warmed our hearts and really helped me feel not alone."
    And that's why Cyndi does it. She coordinates drives donations all over Central Illinois, because she's been there.
    "It's been a rough road."
    Abused as a child and as a wife, battling cancer for decades. Life is not easy for Cyndi. But she sits smiling.
    "Knowing that I'm giving help to somebody. Knowing that I can put relief on someone in need. That's about it."
    A simple concept. Help someone, help yourself. Cyndi hopes it catches on.
    People from all over are asking and giving. From Champaign to Mattoon, all the way down to Carbondale.
    You can find the page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/WCIA-3-News/134816148251#!/groups/randomactsofkindnesscentralillinois/

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