Christmas came a day early for the Mark and Sharon Honey family in 2018.
On Dec. 24, members of the Honey family, including their three boys in wheelchairs, went to Shamrock Auto in Pleasant Grove to pick up their new "Honey Bus."
"It was such a wonderful event, the day before Christmas," Mark Honey said. "The boys were all so excited. They zoomed right up to it and saw their names on this big yellow bus. They loved the idea that it was a school bus. They couldn't wait to get loaded onto it. . . . I couldn't contain how happy I was. It was pretty amazing."
The customized school bus, equipped with a lift and places to secure the wheelchairs of 15-year-old Joshua, 13-year-old Andrew, and Anthony, 12, who were all born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was the result of a generous Gofundme campaign organized by friends and neighbors that collected nearly $30,000.
Andrew Honey, right, gets help from his father, Mark, as he loads into a new bus in Pleasant Grove on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. Ravell Call, Deseret News
What motivated these friends in the community was seeing how hard it was for their parents to lift the growing boys in and out of their wheelchairs, multiple times on a daily basis, especially when transporting them from one place to another, as detailed in "How a Community Is Lifting a Latter-day Saint Family with 3 Boys with Muscular Dystrophy" published on ldsliving.com.
"It gets tiring for sure," Mark Honey said in the article. "It's crazy how it adds up."
Once loaded in the new bus, Mark Honey said his boys didn't want to get out.
"It's actually really comfortable," Mark Honey said. "The lift is perfect. I just take a look at this huge rearview mirror and I see all the boys behind and they are secured in. . . . The next day, Christmas Day, we went to see Aquaman and we just loaded them up so easily, then went to McDonald's and did some shopping at Walmart. Of course on Sunday we went to church. It was so nice and easy, we fit. It's incredible."
Anne Teerlink, facing camera, hugs Sharon Honey in Pleasant Grove on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. Ravell Call, Deseret News
The goal for the fundraiser was $25,000, so with the extra money the Honey family is getting three mechanical, hospital-style beds that will help rotate and lift the boys, as well as a lift system for their bedrooms and bathroom.
"There were enough funds for us to address all the needs that we needed to," Mark Honey said. "It was perfect."
The Honey family sent a thank you to all who donated to the cause.
"The generosity of people, from those we know and those we don't know, and those who donated anonymously, it was incredible," Mark Honey said. "Just a whole-hearted thank you so much for this very tangible, visible benefit to us. My back thanks everybody!"