Valley family creates card drive for recovering UVA victims
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Over the last two decades, the UVA football team has become a huge part of one Valley family’s lives.
Lucas Bolen was born with cerebral palsy and his sister said he had complications with a cyst in his brain.
In the early 2000′s he got to meet members of the team and the Bolen family has kept close to the team ever since.
“One day he made a comment that he wished he could run and score touchdowns like Wally and from there some people put us in contact with Gerry Capone who orchestrated it for four of the football players at that time to come to my brother’s doctors appoitment and ever since then we have developed relationships with guys over the last 20 years,” Amber Bolen, co-organizer of the card drive said.
After hearing of Sunday’s incident, the Bolen family said they wanted to give back to the team who gave them so much.
“We have been able to build a great relationship with not only the players but the coaches, the coaches’ families, and also the players’ families as well,” Bolen said.
They have started a card drive for the two victims in the hospital, Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan.
“I just wanted him [Mike] to see that people from all over support him and his recovery we all hope that he comes back just as strong as he was before,” Bolen said.
Since Hollins is still a member of the UVA football team and NCAA rules apply, she asks people to only send a card and a picture with Mike if they have one, otherwise, she says he cannot accept gift cards or any other form of a gift.
However, for Marlee Morgan, Bolen says to feel free to send her any kind of gift that you believe will uplift her spirits.
“That will probably impact Mike and Marlee’s lives for as long as they live,” Lucas Bolen, co-organizer of the card drive said.
He said he felt called to help the team as soon as he heard about the incident.
”I made a tweet about a month ago and I said I’m only here to love and inspire so I guess that was just the good Lord telling me you need to do something out of love and it’s something so simple as cards,” Lucas Bolen said.
Lucas Bolen says it’s something tangible they can keep forever to remember the god that came out of the bad.
“It’s something they can be 50, 60 years old -- remember what happened to them and be like all these people were there for me,” Lucas Bolen said.
The Bolen family said they have collected more than 600 cards so far and plan to keep it going as long as people continue to send cards.
Cards can be made out to Amber Bolen with ATTN to Mike or Marlee at P.O. Box 884, Harrisonburg, Va 22801.
A drop-off location for cards has been set up at the Labor Max on Neff Ave in Harrisonburg.
The family asks for all cards to include a return address.
Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.