Fla. community raises money for local celebrity to fulfill dream of becoming EMT
Panama City community members raised more than $3,000 for Decaris Hunter, known as the "Spread The Love" guy, to attend EMS courses
The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Decaris Hunter has been preaching "Spread The Love" for some time now and it seems that the community has reciprocated that love back to him.
Hunter, who has left "Spread the Love" signs around the area for years, has a dream of being in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department and a GoFundMe was set up to help cover the costs for school. As of Monday, the GoFundMe had raised a little more than $3,300, surpassing the $1,500 goal.
The goal was reached in less than 24 hours.
Hunter was inspired to be an Emergency Medical Technician from watching the show Night Watch, a series that comes on A&E that follows EMTs. He currently works at Anchorage Family Counseling as a youth specialist, but the show and talking to other paramedics sparked his interest.
Hunter didn't organize the GoFundMe. It was organized by a friend of his, Melissa Bois. The $1,500 was just a goal to pay for the outstanding balance Hunter had from the EMT courses he took before.
Now, he can pay the outstanding balance and pay for the tuition with the rest of the money that was raised. For someone who was beginning to doubt if his Spread The Love message was working, Hunter has proof that his message has reached more people than he realized.
"I was like, 'why aren't there more people out here standing on the side of the road with posters,'" Hunter said. "It was an eye opener. It's meant for everybody to spread love, but not everybody spreads love the same way."
Hunter added that he was shocked and his heart dropped the next morning after the GoFundMe was posted because he only mentioned about wanting to be an EMT once. He didn't want to go through with it initially because he didn't want to ask for a handout.
Hunter noted some of the challenges he went through a couple of years ago when he was taking the course the first time, including struggling financially. With the support of the community spreading the love to him, he can go chase his dream to be an EMT and help save lives.
©2020 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)