An Alabama mother has found an outpouring of support from friends, strangers, and her entire community after she received an anonymous letter complaining about the condition of her lawn. Randa Ragland posted the letter that complained about her "eyesore" of a home, with the anonymous writer complaining that she needs to do a better job taking care of her yard. What the writer of the letter, who didn't feel the need to share their name or address, didn't know is that Ragland is currently dealing with things much more important than lawn care.
Ragland's life revolves around her three-year-old son, Jaxen, these days. "He’s autistic and he’s non-verbal," Ragland explained to CBS 42. "But, a few days before his third birthday is when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma stage four cancer." Ragland said that when she opened the letter, she couldn't quite believe what she was reading. "I opened it and it was pretty much [the sender] shaming me for my yard," Ragland said. "At first, I felt a little angry," she said. "But so much has been going on with us and our family. I just didn’t have the energy to be negative."
"Your eyesore is affecting the resale value of our homes," the letter read. "Who wants to buy a house near you and look at that daily? It does not take that much effort, all you have to do is give a sh*t. Do better!!!"
Ragland shared the letter on Facebook in hopes of encouraging people to be more understanding of their neighbors, and that remind people they don't always know what someone is going through. "My whole point was to show people you don’t know what somebody’s going through," she said. "Kindness goes such a long way. Gratitude goes such a long way."
Ragland's post resonated with her community. Kimberly Davis Quick saw the post after it was shared by a friend, and knew she had to do something. "I don't ever usually click those, but God must have been talking to me," she said. "And I said, 'Oh, no, not in our community,' " she told CNN. Quick set up a Facebook page called Jaxen's Army for Justice, and the community quickly responded. A lawn care company arrived unexpectedly and cut her lawn, free of charge, and neighbors rallied to help clean up the rest of the yard as well as went shopping for supplies for Ragland, Jaxen and her entire family.
One of those volunteers was Joey Harding, a man who just two weeks earlier had lost his own six-year-old daughter to the same kind of cancer Jaxen has. "Words can’t describe what this means to me right now," Harding said. "It’s helping me. It’s helping me cope with losing my daughter. To help another family in need."
Ragland herself was overcome with emotion at the outpouring of help she began to receive. "I’m in amazement. I’m still in shock," Ragland told CBS. "I don’t have a large family. My mom is gone, my dad is gone, my brother is gone, so this means a lot."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ragland and her family with the mounting medical bills they are facing as Jaxen continues to receive treatment for his cancer.