What do a group of boys singing for their supper and Guido Gardens' Nights of Lights have in common?
The answer is Bruce Purcell, owner of Quik Kut Distributors of Claxton, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Guido Evangelistic Association in Metter. Purcell has made arrangements for the young men who are residents of the Blount Boys Home of Lyons to sing for visitors to Nights of Lights on Saturday at 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Purcell tells the story of how he came to first hear the beautiful singing of the young men.
Andy Carraway decided to take a ride on his dirt bike one day. As he pulled out of his yard, he was hit head-on by a car, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Even so, he maintained his faith in God.
Carraway called Purcell about a month ago to say he had a freezer he did not need and that he would like to donate it to someone who could use it. Carraway said he felt as if he hadn't been able to help anyone for a long time, so maybe donating the freezer would be his way of helping.
Purcell immediately thought about the Blount Boys' Home in Lyons.
"God spoke to me, and said, ‘Let's fill it up!'" Purcell said.
A cousin who was visiting from Ireland heard Purcell talking about filling the freezer and donated $100. Another friend said his hunting club would give deer meat. With the money, 120 pounds of Claxton Poultry chicken was purchased for $67, and 30 dozen eggs were bought from Food Fresh for $32.
"Talk about a deep discount!" Purcell said. "We loaded the freezer and the groceries into my truck and headed toward Lyons."
On the way to make this delivery, Purcell called Anson Callaway at the Lyons Recreation Department. It turns out that Callaway had coached Carraway and Clint Blount, the man who now runs the Blount Boys Home, in rec ball. Callaway was so moved by the gift, he said: "Come by for my $100!" This bought cereal, grits, plates and other supplies needed to feed the 15 teenage boys at the home.
Blount and the boys were grateful for the Thanksgiving blessing that Purcell delivered. Blount acknowledged that the home's food supply had gotten very low and that he had been praying to find a way to feed the boys.
These 10- to 18-year-old boys have come from all over the United States to a safe, nurturing, structured environment and where the Blounts are doing what their motto says, "Helping young men become real men." The home was founded by former NFL player Mel Blount, Clint Blount's brother.
Clint Blount said he knew the boys would like to say thank you, but all they had to give were songs. They lined up shoulder to shoulder and sang "Imagine" by John Lennon and some others.
"As I stood in front and listened to these men, some as young as 10 or 11 years old, singing ‘God is All I Need,' as hard as I tried, I could not hold back tears of glory to God," Purcell said.
In the weeks since the Thanksgiving delivery, Purcell has continued to help the boys in the Blount Home. He has garnered donations to provide each young man with a pair of slacks and a shirt to wear when singing before an audience. He and others have gathered supplies and necessities that will be given to the boys during a Christmas party that will be held on the grounds of the Guido Evangelistic Association on Saturday afternoon.
The young men will perform Christmas and other music on the large grassy area of Guido Gardens near the life-sized Nativity scene at 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Nights of Lights opened Thursday in Guido Gardens, 600 N. Lewis Street in Metter, and will run each night from 6-9 p.m. through Dec. 31. For more information, call(912) 685-2222 or visit www.sowerministries.org.