By AJ Willingham
(CNN) — When Devon Melton’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided to do something amazing.
The 12-year-old from Ferguson, Missouri, knew that his parents were struggling with the cost of his mom’s medical care, and he wanted to hold a garage sale this weekend to help raise money. The problem was, he didn’t have much he could sell.
So Melton decided to turn to Craigslist. The online classifieds website, home to untold numbers of secondhand couches and missed connections, also has a “free” section, where people post ads about things they want to get rid of, but don’t care to sell.
CNN affiliate KMOV reports that Melton sent out an e-mail to inquire about some of the “free” section’s offerings.
“Hi this is Devon,” the e-mail read. “I am the one that messaged you on Craigslist. My mom is amazing she and my dad take care of my two brothers, me and my sister. She has breast cancer and I heard her crying one day after she had her surgery. I thought she was hurt so I went to her door. I heard her say I’m losing everything because I am sick. We are about to lose our home, electric, gas and dad lost his job.
Melton then explained his plans for a garage sale, an idea his pastor mentioned to him.
“My mom deserves the best and I want to help her because she helps everyone,” he wrote. “… I just wish it was mom’s turn to be blessed with a timeout like she says she needs.”
One “seller,” Sarah Wood, was deeply touched by her correspondence with Melton. She posted about her experience on Facebook, describing how Melton had told her about his plan, and she had eventually gotten in contact with Melton’s mother, Christina Craig.
Wood offered to help round up more items for the sale.
“Something very touching happened to me yesterday and I want to pass it along… and it happened through Craigslist of all places!!” her post began.
The post took off on Facebook, and according to KMOV, Melton’s family was soon inundated with more than 200 e-mails offering donations and help.
So many people wanted to donate to the cause, Melton and his mother tried to move the sale from a neighbor’s garage to a larger location. However, due to local restrictions, the sale had to stay put.
The fund-raiser/garage sale/get-together is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday.
Though the sale has now attracted national attention, at the heart of it all is still a boy, just trying to do right by his mom.
“I can give up a couple of my things and go in and put the hard work in and she takes care of me,” Devon told CNN affiliate KSDK. “So I thought I should take care of her for once.”
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