Family Honors Deceased Daughter With $100K Giveaway

In April, Larry and Carrie Carroll woke up to every parents’ worst nightmare. They found their 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Savannah, had passed away during the night from what was later identified as SUDC, Sudden Unexplained Death in Children.

SUDC is diagnosed when a child over the age of 12 months dies due to a cause that cannot be explained after a thorough examination and autopsy. When Larry Carroll put his daughter to bed on the night of April 3, there was no indication that anything was wrong with her. As Yahoo! News reported, Savvy had a slight fever, but everything else was normal.

In the midst of their grief, the parents wanted to honor Savvy’s memory, and Larry came up with an idea to raise money to give away to a family who couldn’t afford to have stolen moments with their own daughter. The name of the fund, Savannah’s Stolen Moment, was a concept that the Carrolls had created for their family. Whenever they had any unexpected free time, they spent it with their children, Savannah and older brother Jack.

“If we suddenly have 30 minutes free during the day, instead of checking email, we spend that unplanned time with our kids, taking a walk or eating ice cream.”

Larry started a Fundly page for the newly formed charity, and suggested people donate what they could to their cause. In order to receive the money, the Carrolls only had three requirements. First, the family had to have a little girl. Second, they had to cherish their daughter as the Carrolls cherished Savannah, and the family didn’t have the means to have a stolen moment with their daughter.

“My dream is to take every penny of those donations, locate a special little girl somewhere in the world — and give her and her family the ‘Stolen Moment’ that we’ll never be able to make with our baby Savannah. I will find a family somewhere — someone I have never met before and has no connection to anyone I know — and help them make a Stolen Moment.”

Overnight, the fund had raised $5,000, and donations had been made from people all over the world. A woman in Haiti contributed to the fund, and a mother wrote about how her two kids broke open their piggy banks to give $23 to the fund. Yet another mother filmed her daughter releasing a pink balloon in honor of Savannah.

After raising nearly $100,000, the Carroll’s dream came true, when they found a random family and presented them with the money they had raised in honor of Savannah and for the Thanksgiving holiday. The recipient, who is ironically from Savannah, Georgia, was presented with the money from the Carrolls themselves last Monday.

The Carroll family, which now includes their 6-month-old son, Dash, still hadn’t chosen a family when they decided to visit the city. They took in the sights in Savannah, and ended up going to an indoor amusement park to let their son Jack play. While the young boy was playing, he met a little girl named Isabella who was at indoor entertainment venue, named Jumping Jacks, to celebrate her brother’s birthday.

Isabella and Jack were playing when the Carrolls introduced themselves to the little girl’s mother, Sarah Williams. As Mediabistro reported, Savvy’s parents spoke with Ms. Williams and told her about Savvy and the money they had raised. During their conversation, the Carrolls found out that Williams was a single mother of five children and she worked for a non-profit.

Three of the Williams children belonged to the mother, and she had taken in two others in August. She is very busy taking care of her children and working, so she has little time and little money to spend on “stolen moments.” According to a local news station, WJCL, the meeting with the Carroll family was serendipitous because Williams initial plans to celebrate her son’s birthday had been rained out and she had decided to take her kids to Jumping Jacks at the last moment.

Larry Carroll with Sarah Williams and her daughter Isabella [Image by Larry Carroll]

Williams told reporters she was amazed at receiving the money.

“It was raining outside, but it started raining on my face. I was speechless. I couldn’t believe it.”

The Carrolls giveaway is the second report of people giving away money after being faced with a tragedy. The Inquisitr reported about Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons television show, giving away his $100 million fortune to charity after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Savannah’s parents plan to make the money giveaway an annual event in honor of their baby girl.

[Image via Facebook]