Henry Co. boy helping raise money for classmate's family

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

HENRY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - When nine year old Michael James gets off the bus at his father's auto shop after school, he eagerly checks the little cardboard box taped to the window at the front of the shop.

"I just wrote all that and taped it up," Michael said as he stood in front of the box recalling how he came up with the idea.

He created the box about a week ago to help raise money for a classmate after noticing the classmate seemed sad.

The classmate is the younger brother of 20 year old Cody Hale, who is undergoing rehabilitation at a hospital in Georgia after he and his girlfriend were hit by a Comcast bucket truck on Figsboro Rd. in April.

"He just wasn't perky like he usually is," Michael said of his classmate. "He told me he was upset about his brother."

The driver of the bucket truck, 54 year old Rufus Martin, is facing multiple charges including two counts of maiming another person and having a blood-alcohol content of point .15-.20.

Hale's family has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Comcast.

Michael's father, Dennis, says Cody's father is grateful for Michael's gesture.

"I told him everything on the phone and he thought it was a great idea. [He] wanted me to give Michael a kiss and a hug for him and tell him to go for it."

Michael started out with a goal of collecting $55. As of Monday, he had collected nearly $1,000.

"People just giving money left and right," Michael's father explained. "They know about the situation. They know about the wreck. They know about why it happened."

Michael plans to leave the donation box up until the end of the month and then give the money to Hale's family.

According to online court records, Rufus Martin is scheduled to appear in Henry County circuit court on October 14th to have council appointed.

Gleamers Auto Body is located at 6719 AL Philpott Hwy.

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