On July 3, the Berry family suffered an incredible tragedy. Parents Joshua and Robin Berry were killed in a car crash, while brothers Peter, 9, and Aaron, 8, were paralyzed, possibly for life, and remain hospitalized. Their younger sister, Willa, 6, was also injured, but suffered only broken bones. In the weeks since the crash in Texas, celebrities have been doing their part to help raise money for the care of the three young children.
Using the power of social media, everyone from [artist id="3187077"]Justin Bieber[/artist] and Britney Spears to [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist] and Usher have asked their fans to "Show Your Hearts" with donations at showyourhearts.org and via text message (texting BERRY to 85944 donates $10). Their call to arms has meant the world to Matt Berry, the kids' uncle.
"My wife had this family member in the Justin Bieber camp, and when the accident happened ... they reached out to us and asked how they could help," he told MTV News on Thursday. "So, it's been pretty much organic from their reaching out. Right after the accident, he was asking for their names and praying with his mom for the kids. It's not something we expected would happen, obviously.
"So, my understanding is that he wanted to do something to help, and the best way they could help was to create awareness," he continued. "They have a lot of friends and contacts. And then, of course, once their campaigns started going, it looked like a lot of people joined it because I think everyone had some sort of feeling of empathy."
The family is still mending: Peter and Aaron's "lifelong conditions" have been amplified by the loss of their parents; meanwhile Willa is still trying to come to terms with the incident.
Matt Berry said of all the public support they've received has "definitely helped." "Anything that goes to help the kids in their predicament [helps]. I don't know how long it will continue. I'm not someone who likes to be in the public eye, so it's a little bit awkward, but it's amazing.
"It's a little bit overwhelming," he added, but he said that right now, the family is taking it "day by day" as they deal with the aftermath of such a tremendously tragic turn of events.
"If it was up to us, we'd pray that they were able to stand up in a couple of weeks and walk out of the hospital, but the likelihood of that happening is low," he said, adding that the boys are readying for rehab to try to heal in any small way. "There's been a lot of people supporting us, and that's huge. The ultimate dream is if in their lifetime, there's enough momentum to figure something out and fix spinal-cord injuries. We've got two of them that need something special."
Show your support at
target="_blank">showyourhearts.org target="_blank">Berry Children's Trust Facebook page
target="_blank">Berry Children's Trust Facebook page.