Family Grateful for Community’s Generosity

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HAZLETON -- At the end of December, we told you about a family in Hazleton who needed a special bed for their son with cerebral palsy.

Our own Joe Snedeker offered to jump in the backyard pond if the money was raised, and within two days, an anonymous donor capped off the $15,000 needed.

"It keeps him secure at night. We don't have to worry about him falling or anything happening to him," said Joey's father Joseph Jones, about his son's new bed.

Joey's parents are overwhelmed by the idea that their son has been able to safely sleep by himself at night, and by the generosity of their community.

Back in December, we told you about Joey and his family trying to raise the money for this special bed.

Our own Joe Snedeker decided to help, offering to jump in WNEP's backyard pond if the money was raised.

"We didn't expect any of that, somehow he just got on. After that it just went viral, after Joe said he was going to jump in the pond," said Jones.

Within a day, an anonymous viewer who had seen the challenge called the family.

"He said, 'How much do you have?' I said, 'About $6000.' He said, 'Well, I am going to give you the other $9,000.' I just got emotional. I just had to pull over," said family friend Tony Colombo.

Joey, age 15, is unable to speak but he grabbed our mic during an interview with mom, as if to tell her to express his gratitude.

"The support has just been overwhelming," said Joey's mother Patti Jones. "I just can't say that enough. We were astonished on how it ended up."

The family had one last thank you they wanted to say face to face with our Joe Snedeker. So we got him on video chat.

"I just saw the story and I thought, 'I've got to do my part. You know me, I thought I'd do something silly to get attention and it worked!" said Snedeker.

With some of the extra money raised, the Jones family felt compelled to pay it forward, surprising Joe Snedeker with a $500 donation to Go Joe 19.


  • J@D3!...

    What a beautiful thing! It is a shame, the things people NEED, are so expensive. Ridiculous! But what a touching story! I’m so happy for the family!

  • Schuylkill county

    Joe Snedeker was the beat thing to even happen to WNEP. I was a kid yet when he first came on and although the other anchors had no idea how to handle him, for the most part, the viewers loved him. My grandparents (in their 80s then) would laugh so hard and rush to the TV to see WHAT he would say or do next. I know several people who have relocated out of state and go to great lengths to be able to still watch WNEP JUST for Joe. He’s a special kind of guy… And does amazing charity work. I’m SO happy this family has some peace of mind now and they got their much needed (and grossly over priced – shame on you, med supply!!) bed for their son.

    • Reuben

      I agree with every thing you wrote except about Snedeker. Granted is charity work is admirable but other than that the guy’s an a** clown. His routine is old, unprofessional, not funny or entertaining, and you can tell that sometimes his coworkers get annoyed at being the butt of his tasteless jokes. I could see him being a fun teacher, I don’t know if he’s still doing that. I know one of his coworkers personally and he said he can’t stand the guy. I’m surprised the station has hung onto him for this long.

      • Jazzy

        I don’t know. When I first moved to the area, i did honestly find this local Joe to be very strange. Though , over the last few yrs. i got used to it. He’s definitily not boring compared to that other weather guy. I honestly now get a kick out of him and a smile for the day. With so much bad news nowadays, I feel He’s a keeper for sure. If I were a reporter having to report on so many bad things , he is comic relief for their sanity and ours.

  • Jazzy

    Such a great story. I am very happy for the family. The young man is lucky to have parents that care so deeply for him. I know how times can be tough when caring for a loved one in need. Special blessings to those who were able to donate as well the anonymous donor and WNEP staff to make this a reality for them so quickly.

  • Reuben

    I’m glad the boy got what he needed. The crime here is that a bed like that costs $15,000 in the first and that there no type of programs available to help the family in the first place. Meanwhile fat cat politicians are living large as usual. Some of the priorities of this country are a joke.

    • Jazzy

      Well said Reuben. I agree. It’s so unfair to make this type of extreme money off the serious needs of others. The bed looks like just mesh and tent style fabric that is probably easily sewn in Mexico for a few 100 dollars ( by workers being taken advantage of , with their take home weekly pay of a measly 35.00) then shipped to a company in the USA to sell for more money than what it is really worth.

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