Gr8 Acts of Kindness finds his mission in life helping others
MARMADUKE, Ark. (KAIT) - “When that bloom turns pink, it’s ready to fall off,” Cliff Carter said as he pointed out the features of a cotton plant he just pulled from the ground.
Cliff Carter is a farmer in Marmaduke.
“Thankfully, we’ve got a rain or most of the time, we would be driving around looking at irrigation wells,” Carter said.
He knows a thing or two about cotton and, how to grow a bumper crop of kindness... helping critically ill children realize their one true wish is where Carter finds his greatest blessing.
“You know the struggle continues for many of us who have lost a child,” Bryan Hancock said. Hancock’s son, Price, battled glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
“Pretty aggressive. We had about 14 months from the diagnosis,” Hancock explained.
Make-A-Wish arranged for Price’s wish...while Carter, his wish-granter, learned a valuable lesson from a 14-year-old boy.
“Price, you’re 14. How are you dealing with cancer?” Carter explained what he said to his young friend.
“That’s when he looked me in the eye and said, ‘Either way, I’ll be ok. God’s got this.’” Carter said. “No one ever touched me like that young man did in that moment. No one. Just that simple message that he gave me, ‘God’s got this...and either way, I’ll be ok. God’s got this!’”
Price Hancock passed away. But, that didn’t stop Cliff from continuing to help Price’s family.
“He’s never left us alone which is pretty special,” Hancock said. “He’s a real blessing.”
So, on a rainy Wednesday morning, Bryan drove three hours from Stuttgart to join several other people all helped by Cliff Carter in some form or fashion.
“Surprise!” the crowd yelled as Carter and his son, Elijah, came through the front door of the Delta Cotton Co-Op, Inc.
“How are you, Cliff Carter?” I asked.
“Better than I deserve,” he said as he reached out to give a big hug.
“The rain today... you know I thought about it and I thought this could not be more perfect... because when it rains...and we go through the storms in life--that’s when Cliff Carter steps up and helps,” I said.
Earlier this summer, Carter filled the bucket on a backhoe several times with ears of corn for anyone needing food in town.
“That was food for some people,” Lavon Booth said. She nominated Carter for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
Booth knows Carter’s kindness.
“He was there for my son when he got sick in 2015,” Booth said.
Her son, Austin, suffered a stroke in his spinal cord at 19.
“Spent two months thinking basically he was going to be on a ventilator,” Booth said of her son.
But, Booth says prayers over several months brought him back. He now has a Bachelor’s degree in social work and Carter promotes Austin’s knife-making business on his Facebook page.
“You’re going to Legoland! Your wish has been granted, dude!” Carter said to Max Gray when his wish was revealed several years ago.
Granting wishes for the likes of Max Gray, Collin Rutherford, Mallory Wilson, and Price Hancock melts Cliff’s heart... especially when the wish kids are like Morgan Fuller and have been dealt a bad hand in life.
“Morgan was an all-state softball player as a sophomore in high school and was pitching when her leg started hurting at the state tournament,” Carter explained. It was cancer and Morgan lost the fight, but Carter made a promise.
“As long as I have breath in my body, I will share their stories,” he said.
Right now, Carter is praying for more kids with childhood cancer. Kids like William the Warrior in Memphis. And, he makes them lawn ribbons.
“That is what makes my parent heart soar. He really wants to see her smile,” Suzie Woodring said. Woodring’s daughter, Lora, whose been battling cancer, received a ribbon and so did Jonesboro Radio Group’s own Christie Matthews.
“I wish I could be there. I love you!” she said on a Facetime call through Danna Johnson’s cell phone. Carter works with both of them to help wishes come true in Region 8.
“Would you look at that?! It’s the weatherman!” Carter said as he gave Ryan Vaughan, KAIT’s Chief Meteorologist a hug. Vaughan and Carter have a friend in common in Alabama who is battling cancer right now, too.
“There is a rare breed of people who go all in. They keep their word. They give it their all. They put themselves last for the people they care about the most. That is you, Cliff and that is why you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.”
“Four hundred, five, six, seven, eight. Four hundred eight dollars,” I count the crisp new bills into his hand.
Cliff Carter, a humble servant when someone is in need. He says it is his life’s ambition to give Jesus the glory. If you know someone like Cliff deserving of recognition for going above and beyond, nominate them for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness. Just go to our website, kait8.com and complete the nomination form.
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