While paralyzed Southern University player Devon Gales continues his rehab back home in Baton Rouge, La., fund-raising continues back here in Georgia toward a new handicap-accessible house for him and his family.
Triumph Over Tragedy faces the largest project the Mansfield, Ga.-based charity has yet to tackle. Co-founder Reggie Jones set a goal of $500,000 for construction of a new residence in Gales’ hometown, replacing the cramped and impractical three-bedroom house that five members of the family now share.
In the first week of fund-raising – through both donations and purchase of special Georgia-themed apparel – Jones said the group has raised $35,000. On faith that the money will keep coming in, work has begun on a foundation for the new home.
Gales was injured during a kickoff return against the Bulldogs on Sept. 26. As he began his long and difficult recovery at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, Gales also built a rapport with Georgia and its fan base. He returned to Athens several times, visiting both the football and basketball teams, each time receiving a rousing welcome from those in the stands. It was during a late-February press conference, in which the family appeared to thank all those who had supported them, that Gales was surprised by the Triumph Over Tragedy promise of a new home.
The group hopes to complete the project by the end of summer, Jones said, depending upon the flow of contributions.
Those wishing to donate or purchase a Gales t-shirt or hoodie may visit the Triumph Over Tragedy website.
To read earlier stories on Devon Gales:
Devon Gales opens up about ordeal: https://www.dawgnation.com/football/team-news/paralyzed-southern-player-fights-back
Devon Gales visits Georgia basketball: https://www.dawgnation.com/football/devongalesvisitsugabasketball