According to WXIN, an unimaginable tragedy hit the family of Steve Wollyung, who was just preparing to harvest the last 112 acres of his farm on November 5.
Volunteers harvesting the Wollyung farm on November 12, 2016
Ayla, his 4-year-old granddaughter was playing around in a grain wagon and became trapped. She was airlifted to Cincinnati Children's Hospital after first responders had removed her from the grain wagon, but the child later died from the injuries she sustained.
A longtime friend of the Wollyung family, Tara Henry, found out about the farming accident the following day. She was the one who made the call to Wollyung's wife, Carmen, to ask if they had finished the harvesting.
Carmen informed her that there were still over 100 acres to harvest but they weren't sure how they would get it all done.
Henry then called a few farmers who'd already harvested their own crops to ask them if they'd be willing to lend a hand.
Word quickly spread throughout the farming community and within no time, more than 60 people from several different counties had contacted Henry about donating their time and equipment to help out the grieving family.
A small army of farmers, complete with combines, semis, and grain carts congregated at the farm on Saturday, November 12. They were all advised on what was left to do, then they said a prayer together, and everyone of them were out in the fields by 10 that morning.
Any friends and neighbors who were unable to help out in the fields, instead donated sandwiches, soup, snacks and drinks.
Wollyung confessed that he was in complete shock:
"I couldn't believe it when I saw everyone show up to help. All of the support and the number of people wanting to help is just overwhelming. It was emotional to see everyone. Whatever we needed, they brought."
All of them working together, they finished the harvest, which consisted of about 18,463 bushels by about 5:00 that evening. Steve noted that it would have taken him around a week to finish all of the work that had to be done, if he had to do it all on his own.
Once the work had been finished, Henry described the emotional day:
"There were lots of tears, and it felt so good to help them. They are a wonderful family. And with all the turmoil in the world right now, it felt so good to witness this. Unfortunately, I wish the help didn't have to come because of this tragedy, but it just shows how much everyone values Steve, and how close this community is. We all know Steve would drop everything to help us, and this shows everyone else doing the same for him."
Nathan Williamson came to the farm with his semi to help haul the grain and according to him, the high turnout is just a reflection of the kind of person that Steve is.
"He's a very honest, stand up guy, and just a good community member," said Williamson. "I was talking with some other people at the farm and we all seem to agree that the worst things happen to the best people."
Williamson also said that efforts like this are typical of the farming community. "Most farmers look out for each other and would do that for anyone."
"The Fayette County area is often looked down on because the unemployment rate is high and there's no money," said Wollyung." But this truly shows the people in (Fayette, Wayne and Union counties) will drop everything to help their neighbors in times of need."
Wollyung says that he hopes that by sharing his story it will help to raise awareness about the dangers for children on farms.
"We're hoping this tragedy will help others down the road," said Wollyung. "Around Halloween, kids visit farms and play in corn mazes and it all looks so pretty and fun. But we need to teach them that farms are a place where serious work is done and it can be dangerous."
What an incredible community of people! Such a testimony to the caring and giving nature of the human spirit in the face of such tragedy! What do you think about what these farmers did for one of their own in need?
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Everyone should hear this amazing story!