Andrus Love knows what it means to give. He gives his time, energy, and effort to help those in the community who need it most. Now, he needs help. Love has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Leukemia.
Community organizers will hold a Selfie with Santa fundraiser for Love in the 1220 Café parking lot, at 1220 Gilmer Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a drive-up Santa event.
"Santa will be outside so that we can all stay safe and healthy. People can drive up, park, and hop out and make a minimum $5 donation per car to take a selfie with Santa. You can also drive up and make a donation without seeing Santa if you would like to. All proceeds will go directly to Andrus Love and his family," event coordinator Suzannah Wilson said.
According to Wilson, this fundraiser will take place rain or shine, though she is hoping for sunshine.
"If it rains, we will still have the event and we will more than likely have Santa under a tent," she said. "If the parking lot is full, there should be room to park in the grassy area and also at the old Wal-Mart parking lot."
Organizers are asking everyone to wear masks and social distance.
"Andrus and his family do so much for the Tallassee and Reeltown folks, especially the children, and so we hope for a big turn out," Wilson said.
Andrus founded S.O.A.R. Inc in 2017 and since that time the organization has helped seniors and single-mothers with much-needed lawn care, fed students during the summer months when they are not in school and may not otherwise receive the nutritional meals they would get during the schoolyear, taken area children on fishing trips and mentored youth in the community. Love also offers a 24-hour helpline to anyone who may be facing a crisis.
The list of good deeds goes on and on.
Love is currently at the UAB Cancer Center where is undergoing a series of chemotherapy treatments and is expected to be in the hospital for four weeks.
The estimated cost of treatment alone could well exceed $100,000.
Many in the community are rallying behind Love and his family.
"Christmas cards or letters of encouragement can also be dropped off at this location (1220 Cafe) as well," Reeltown Selfie with Santa organizer Jennifer Jarvis said "It is most likely that Andrus will still be in the hospital during Christmas and we want to show him all the love he shows his community."
There has also been a GoFundMe account established for the Loves.
Andrus truly lives a life of serving others with his gifts. The organization he founded, S.O.A.R Inc. (Serving Others Accepting Responsibility) is an extension of who Andrus has always been, a servant who loves his community and values all people," Tallassee's Matthew Rogers said.
Now Andrus is facing the biggest battle of his life, many rounds of chemotherapy, long hospital stays with a co-pay of around $250.00 per day, and most difficult of all for him, extended periods away from his wife, children, and SOAR Inc."
Rogers is asking the community to remember all that Love has done for Tallassee and surrounding communities and asking them to give back no matter how much or little can be offered.
"Please consider making whatever contributions you can, in addition to fervent prayers, to assist the man whose entire life revolves around serving others," Rogers said.