For several years, Richmond Hill native Kandi Jung has dabbled with a hobby turned passion: wreath- and swag-making, and Kandi’s Kreations, has had success. Through her Facebook page, Jung has been able to supplement her income from work receiving new patients at Vaught Orthodontics by making seasonal décor for local residents.
Jung’s focus shifted in early November that. She responded to a local woman in need and now, Jung said, she feels blessed to be a blessing.
On Nov. 18, Jamie Cassady published a post on Facebook to update friends and family on her ongoing battle with cancer. It was an honest cry that her journey was continuing and how it would take away from the holiday season with her family.
With only a few days to decorate her home for the holidays, Cassady was worried it wouldn’t get done. But her simple post gently pricked the heart of one local Facebook friend and reader.
“God really pressed it on my heart to do something,” Jung said.
In the past year, Jung had heard Cassady’s fight against breast cancer. Jung knew that Cassady was placing the battle in God’s hands. After seeing the post, Jung reached out to Cassady’s mother, Brenda Albright. The two had been Facebook friends, but were not close in real life. Even so, Jung — a wife and mother of two — reached out.
Jung, a former employee of Bryan Bank and Trust — now South State Bank — had met Albright many years prior.
“I only knew Kandi by driving through my bank’s drive-through window almost nine years ago,” Albright said. “She was always such a ray of sunshine when I’d drive up to either withdraw or deposit from my account. Kandi has a smile that brightened the darkest day! Always friendly with kind words of affirmation. I had only met her one time in person. She spoke to me at the orthodontist office, where my grandchildren were patients there. Seeing her and chatting for just a moment made me happy and content with their care. Kandi and I were Facebook friends.”
A week before Thanksgiving, Albright received a message via Facebook from Jung.
“She wanted to bless Jamie’s children by decorating for the holidays,” Albright said. “She, being a mom herself, knew by Jamie’s post that she had no time or energy to do decorating before Christmas. So my answer, of course, was yes, and I cried many happy tears. I was in total awe.”
With Albright’s help, Jung went to work raising money. The funds would contribute to gathering the materials needed to decorate Cassady’s home. With the help of the community, local businesses and Cassady’s home church, the money was quickly raised.
“I knew Kandi did not expect anything for her time, effort and sacrificial giving. She asked me for nothing — only that I make sure it was OK with Jamie’s husband and a way to get into the house to do it,” Albright said.
With the help of Coastal Cathedral in Berwick, friends and family were committed and willing to donate time or money — and gift cards — to aid Jung with decorating expenses.
With the help of cousin Tonya Rogers, friend Chastity Fortson, daughter Kolbie and Briana Harrison, Jung decorated Cassady’s home.
On Nov. 28, just 10 days after her original post, Cassady came home to the decorated surprise waiting for her.
“I got way more out of this whole thing than anyone,” Jung said. “I couldn’t have helped better people. We talked about her journey. She is so faithful and confident God is going to heal her. She is doing this and taking it one day at a time. It is inspiring.”
Jung said she feels that God prepared her to do this for and hopes it will inspire others to use their gifts to bless others.
“This is not about me. This is about Jamie,” Jung said. “He blessed me with more talent to help her; he blessed me to bless others.”