Athens family raising money to cover adoption costs for local families

The family started the fundraiser after losing their father unexpectedly to cancer.

Posted: Dec. 11, 2018 8:25 PM
Updated: Dec. 11, 2018 10:41 PM

Just days after their father's death, an Athens family is raising money for area families who need help covering the cost of adopting a child.

"Let's just go do it. Let's just go be Jesus, and we'll help as many families as we can on their adoption journey," Dana Pressnell said.

Dana Pressnell and Darren Sides' dad, Herbert Sides, died unexpectedly of cancer on Sunday.

"When he passed unexpectedly we said 'What can we do for the community?'," Darren Sides said.

"We were brainstorming as a family several different fundraisers," Pressnell said.

They finally landed on adoption. Thirteen years ago Dana and her husband adopted their daughter Huntley, a decision her dad wasn't fond of at first.

"It's new to him. The way he came up and stuff you didn't hear about adoption," Sides said.

"He had only heard the horror stories that you would see on TV about adoption, and he was like 'no, no, no.'," Pressnell said.

That changed when he met Huntley.

"His heart would melt when he would hear stories of adoption," Sides said.

"It is just a complete change of heart. It's almost comical," Pressnell said.

The Pressnell's know all too well the financial burden that can come with adopting a child. Dana told WAAY 31 home studies, social work fees, background checks, fingerprint checks, and other expenses can easily add up to $15-30 thousand dollars. That's why she, her brother Darren, and their mother Becky Sides have agreed to match the community's giving up to $15,000 in order to help cover adoption costs for other local families.

The fundraiser will stay open until March 5th, 2019. That would have been Herbert Sides' 73rd birthday.

To donate to the Herbert's Heart for Adoption fundraiser click here.

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