Saturday was a great day for a car wash, and First Baptist Church Bassett had a big one.
FBCB raised nearly $2,000, but the car wash was about more than just raising money.
The church youth group put on the event to raise awareness for teen suicide, after losing one of their own to suicide last November. Emily Essary, a member of the youth group and a 2020 Bassett High School graduate, came up with the idea as a way to honor her friend, Angelina, who was a sophomore at Bassett High School.
Angelina’s mom, Sarah Moorefield (Moorefield gave the Bulletin permission to use her daughter’s name for this article), said they had been trying to do a walk in honor of her daughter, but they couldn’t get anything together with state COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Instead, Essary decided to put on a car wash, and she also will participate in the upcoming pageant at the Henry County Fair with her platform being suicide prevention.
“The youth group has been amazing as far as doing things to try to promote this,” Moorefield said.
Those who got their car washed were given information about warning signs and how to prevent suicide. Melodie Craig, a youth leader at FBCB, said the group had a steady stream of cars from about 9:45 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m.
The money raised will go to a suicide awareness foundation, Craig said this week.
“It means a lot. That’s something I want. I want something good to come out of losing my daughter,” Moorefield said. “I want no other family to have to suffer from this. This hurts. It’s bad. I would hate for anybody else to have to go through it, so it means a lot that we have so much support through the church, that we have so much support in the community. It means a lot that people want to help and they don’t want to see this happen. It means a lot that my little girl meant so much to so many people. That means a lot to me in several different ways.”
Moorefield said she hopes other youth in the area will see the turnout from Saturday’s event and know that there are always people who care, and they learn it will get better.
“When someone feels like they’re going to commit suicide they feel like nobody cares about them, and that is not true,” she said. “Although my daughter knew people cared about her, but somewhere she felt like nobody cared about her and look at all these people. Look at all this and all the people that she’s impacted. … I don’t think she had any idea what was going to happen.
“You see the amount of people who are coming together, and this one little person did all this.”
Cara Cooper is a sports writer for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at email@example.com