Strangers Ready To Make A Difference For Desperate Widow


Cathy’s e-mail went straight to my heart. No way it doesn’t move you to do something. It had an immediate effect on me.

Hi Marty. My husband and I just love listening to your show. I am 71 and he was 68 when he died this past December 28th. Like you and Kristine we were madly in love with each other. He had no life insurance and I have been unable to find help for repairs to my house. The roof is in dire need of needing replaced as the ceilings in 3 of our 4 bedrooms have collapsed. There currently is a blue tarp covering it.
I am willing and able to volunteer to help in any situation. Please contact me if you know of any help out there.
Thank you so much!
Cathy McKeever

We have to help Cathy! We don’t have a choice really… right?

Cathy lost Steve to an aneurysm three days after Christmas.

Steve died a few days after Christmas. It tore Cathy up. It tore me up to hear it. Their marriage of 32 years. Their love. Her loss. She cries every time we talk. As you can see, she’s overwhelmed.

Cathy’s not alone anymore. She will have a new family. The Sparkt family. Including Mark O’Rourke. I call Mark the world’s greatest roofer. He’s inspecting the roof as I write this. He’s old school. Hard wording. Family man… kind to the core. “I heard you talking to that lady with the roof (on the radio). I had to call you. I have to help,” said Mark.

Cathy says the roof is original to the home. A neighbor covered it with a tarp to help the couple keep out water.

Another email came in from Mike, another stranger. “Marty. We do plaster, drywall and stucco. We can help with that lady’s damaged ceilings.” Wow!

The ceilings have partially collapsed in three of four bedrooms on the second floor.

Then there are the donations to help cover the cost of materials. A doctor called my talk show… donated two thousand dollars. Hoddy Hanna of Howard Hanna Real Estate… he called… donated a thousand dollars. Amazing kindness!

It was writer a Steve Maraboli who said “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”

You know what else I’m gonna do? I’m gonna take my nine year old son Vince to Cathy’s house. I want Vince to see the greatness of kindness… the compassion of strangers. The enormity of the pain felt from loss, made less lonely and desperate by a group of people who just want to help.

Vince may get bored… look around for video games or Cheetos. Or… maybe he’ll get a taste of how we can all make a difference. That’s what we do here at Spark. We try to make a difference everyday.

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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