A Zaxby's in Winder is holding a fundraiser on Tuesday to help the family of a 2-year-old boy who was struck in the head with a tree limb at his daycare two weeks ago.
Tripp Halstead has been at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston since the incident where he had been improving. Doctors said he was put on a breathing tube on Monday after an apparent reaction to one of his drugs and a collapsed lung.
Tripp's mother, Stacy, said on Tuesday that Tripp had a calm night and that doctors plan to make sure he has a restful day.
Tripp's story has resonated with thousands of people who have liked his Facebook page to support the little boy and his parents. The family's Facebook page has more than 63,000 likes.
Zaxby's said it will donate 10 percent of every sale it makes on Tuesday to go towards Tripp's medical bills. The store's owners said they would match that 10 percent.
A steady flow of chicken lovers packed the restaurant in Winder is support of young Tripp.
Tammy Flanagan, the store's general manager, said the Halsteads were regulars at the restaurant and wasn't surprised that residents are going out of their way to help the little boy with a big smile.
"It's awesome to see this much of a turnout and this many people come out and show support," said Flanagan.
Last week, the Dairy Queen in Winder raised more than $10,000 in a similar fundraiser.
Zaxby's will be until 11:00 p.m.
The Halstead family believes that the overwhelming wave of support and prayers have helped Tripp.
"We don't know what the future holds, but saying that I like to hang on to is: we know who holds the future," said Dave Stroup, the pastor at Gospel Light Baptist Church.
Since Tripp's accident two weeks ago, Stroup says he has advised people struggling to cope or explain the accident to children not to focus on what happened in the backyard of Tripp's daycare center.
"It's not so much about what happened but it's about the God who is there with the person as they are going through what they are going through," said Stroup. "So with a child, we always want to direct them back to God's love and to the fact that God cares."
Stroup says prayer is a common coping mechanism for the faithful. But he says that the most faithful believers tend to question the power of prayer when bad things happen to innocent people.
"It's not wrong for them to cry out and say, ‘Lord, what is going on?' Because God understands how he made us and he knows we don't understand all those things. But it's in those times when he cradles Tripp in his arms and he carries him through," said Stroup.
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