If you see people around town with the name “Jordan” etched into the back of their heads, it’s for a good cause.
Sixteen-year-old Jordan Griffin, an Orcas Christian School student, was paralyzed from the chest down after a snowboarding accident on Dec. 17. Since then, the Griffins have been the recipients of an outpouring of community generosity.
Most recently, Melissa Lowry of Melissa’s Salon held a “hair cutting drive” on Jan. 20 at the Country Corner Laundromat. All proceeds from the day went to the Griffins.
For everyone who had “Jordan” cut into their hair, Country Corner pledged to donate an extra $5. In addition to a space for the event, Country Corner donated sandwiches, coffee, and tea.
Lowry gave 60 haircuts that day, working from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Twenty-one of those people received either a “JG” or “Jordan” extra touch. The total amount raised was $940.
The idea for the drive came from Lowry’s daughter, Jamarra, who is one of Jordan’s classmates.
“She wanted to do something to help his family. I was just the tool!” said Lowry.
Jordan was recently transferred from Harborview Medical Center to Seattle Children’s Hospital for rehabilitation, where he will stay for several months.
“He has his ups and downs,” said his grandmother Barbara Griffin. “It’s just kind of a day-to-day process. He’s strong and he’s determined most of the time.”
After wondering where they would live that would be wheelchair friendly, the Griffins have found a solution: through community donations they will be able to fix up an apartment attached to Barbara and her husband Ron’s house. Jordan’s mother Rachel, his twin brother Josh, and younger sisters Bethany and Anna will all live in their new home. Barbara says it will be a good transition spot for them.
“We started it a few years ago but it’s not finished. Our community has stepped up and we’ll be able to put in a handicapped bathroom and everything that he will need. We are blessed by that.”
“The renovations will be made possible by contractors donating their time, money from the Community Church, and local donations. The money raised from the haircutting drive will also go towards the apartment modifications.
“People call us all the time asking what they can do. The community has offered whatever needs to be done,” said Barbara.
Artist Caroline Buchanan is setting up a collection box at the Olga Store from 11 to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday to raise money for the Griffins to buy a new car. It’s been decided that the best kind of vehicle for Jordan is a 2001 or newer VW Passat station wagon, which sell for around $9000. Anyone who puts in a check for $100 can choose a free limited edition print of one of Buchanan’s watercolors: “Orcas Hollyhocks,” “Island Mist,” and “Return of the Invincible.”
Another fundraiser for the Griffins will be a Superbowl Sunday gathering on Feb. 1. For more information, call John and Katie Curlett at 376-4878.
For updates on Jordan’s progress, visit his website at www.caringbridge.org/visit/jordangriffin.