MARMADUKE, Ark. (KAIT) – “When that flower turns pink, it’s ready to fall off,” said Cliff Carter, pointing out the characteristics of a cotton plant he had just pulled off the ground.
Cliff Carter is a farmer in Marmaduke.
“Luckily we have rain or we usually drive around looking at irrigation wells,” Carter said.
He knows a thing or two about cotton and how to grow a tremendous crop of kindness… helping seriously ill children realize that their one true wish is where Carter finds his greatest blessing.
“You know the struggle continues for many of us who have lost a child,” Bryan Hancock said. Hancock’s son Price battled glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
“Pretty aggressive. We had about 14 months from diagnosis,” Hancock explained.
Make-A-Wish arranged Price’s wish… while Carter, his wish-grant, learned a valuable lesson from a 14-year-old boy.
“Price, you’re 14. How do you deal with cancer?” Carter explained what he said to his young friend.
“Then he looked me in the eye and said, ‘Anyway, it’ll be okay. God has this.’” Carter said. “Nobody ever touched me like that young man did at that moment. Nobody. Just that simple message which he gave to me, ‘God has this… and either way, I’ll be fine. God has this!’”
Price Hancock passed away. But that didn’t stop Cliff from continuing to help Price’s family.
“He never left us alone, which is pretty special,” Hancock said. “He is a real blessing.”
So, on a rainy Wednesday morning, Bryan drove three hours from Stuttgart to join several other people who were all helped in one way or another by Cliff Carter.
“Surprise!” shouted the crowd as Carter and his son, Elijah, walked through the front door of the Delta Cotton Co-Op, Inc.
“How are you, Cliff Carter?” I asked.
“Better than I deserve,” he said, reaching out to give a big hug.
“The rain today… you know I thought about it and I thought this couldn’t be more perfect… because when it rains… and we go through the storms in life – then Cliff Carter comes up and helps, ” I said.
Earlier this summer, Carter filled the bucket on a backhoe several times with ears of corn for everyone in need of food in the city.
“That was food for some people,” Lavon Booth said. She nominated Carter for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
Booth knows Carter’s kindness.
“He was there for my son when he got sick in 2015,” Booth said.
Her son, Austin, suffered a spinal cord stroke at the age of 19.
“Have thought for two months that he would actually be on a ventilator,” Booth said of her son.
But Booth says prayers of several months brought him back. He now has a bachelor’s degree in social work and Carter promotes Austin’s knife making business on his Facebook page.
“You’re going to Legoland! Your wish has been granted, guest!” Carter said to Max Gray when his wish was revealed several years ago.
Granting wishes for the likes of Max Gray, Collin Rutherford, Mallory Wilson and Price Hancock melts Cliff’s heart… especially when the wish children are like Morgan Fuller and have been dealt a bad hand in life.
“Morgan was an all-state softball player as a sophomore in high school and threw when her leg started hurting during the state tournament,” Carter explained. It was cancer and Morgan lost the fight, but Carter made a promise.
“As long as I have breath in my body, I will share their stories,” he said.
Carter is currently praying for more children with childhood cancer. Kids like William the Warrior in Memphis. And he makes them lawn ribbons.
“That’s what makes my parent’s heart soar. He really wants to see her smile,” said Suzie Woodring. Woodring’s daughter, Lora, who is battling cancer, received a ribbon, as did Jonesboro Radio Group’s Christie Matthews.
“I wish I could be there. I love you!” she said during a FaceTime call via Danna Johnson’s cell phone. Carter works with both of them to make wishes come true in Region 8.
“Would you look at that?! It’s the weatherman!” said Carter as he hugged Ryan Vaughan, KAIT’s chief meteorologist. Vaughan and Carter have a mutual friend in Alabama who is also currently battling cancer.
“There is a rare kind of people who go all in. They keep their word. They give everything. They put themselves last before the people they care about most. That’s you, Cliff, and that’s why you’re the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.”
“Four hundred, five, six, seven, eight. Four hundred and eight dollars,” I count the fresh new bills in his hand.
Cliff Carter, a humble servant when someone is in need. He says that his life ambition is to give Jesus the credit. If you know someone like Cliff who deserves recognition for moving on, nominate him for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness. Visit our website, kait8.com, and fill out the nomination form.
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