This Josh is top notch

By on May 2, 2018

Josh Fry is just 23, and he is already president and top executive of his own company.

He even has a vice president, treasurer, secretary and marketing manager working on his team at JoshFund.org.

What makes it even more impressive is that this Warwick High School graduate has lived his entire life with severe Cerebral Palsy, which does not affect his intelligence, but severely restricts his physical abilities. He uses a motorized wheelchair that helps him get around. When Fry graduated from Warwick High School and IU13 at age 21, he realized that there were few meaningful career opportunities for someone with his physical limitations. That’s when he had an idea.

                        Josh Fry with mom Stephanie Fry, dad Steve Morrow, Beverly Magee

 

“What if I started my own company so I could give back to those who had helped me,” he wondered.

When he told his mother Stephanie Fry and stepdad Steve Morrow, they were on board with his idea. His mom signed on as vice president, treasurer and secretary of JoshFund.org and his dad handles marketing, design and promotion of his website.

“Josh listed the causes he wanted to help and became president of his own LLC, applying and receiving official 501(c)(3) status,” says Morrow. “At that point, JoshFund.org was born.”

That was more than a year ago, and so far, JoshFund.org has been raising money for the special causes that are so close to Fry’s heart, including United Disability Services, United Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer’s Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.

In his own life, Fry received services from United Disability Services and United Cerebral Palsy. His beloved grandmother was stricken with Alzheimer’s. He wanted to help wounded soldiers, who face disabilities after being wounded on the battlefield.

“It is a way for me to turn a negative into a positive,” says the young man with a beautiful, warm smile and an open heart. “Now I have a mission in life.” The Make-A-Wish Foundation is extra-special for Fry. One of his very best friends, Chuckie Magee, was once a Make-A-Wish child, who got to ride in the annual Mother’s Day Parade and had his wish to swim with dolphins in Key Largo, Fla. fulfilled when he was seven. Magee suffered from multiple disabilities as a young child and went through classes with Fry as teens. The son of Charles and Beverly Magee, Magee was 23 when he died after a battle with bone cancer in May 2015. Magee was well known in Lititz for his vibrant spirit and happy grin. He worked at Roma Pizza, played Challenger baseball and Challenger football, and was involved with Best Buddies, Council for Exceptional Children, Aarons Acres, Schreiber’s Teen Scene, and Excentia.

“He was my best friend,” says Fry. “He was a good person and I miss him so much.” Fry wanted to help children who are facing life-threatening illnesses like his friend faced. He realizes that although he has physical disabilities, he is in good health. He is touched by the battle that young children face with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

“Everyone can make a difference,” says Fry, adding that he plans to be at the Make-A-Wish event at the Burle parking lot on New Holland Avenue as the truck convoy takes 150 children on an exciting tractor trailer ride along Route 222 on Mother’s Day.

Fry has been working with Magee’s mother, Beverly Magee, a volunteer with Make-A-Wish, to put together gift bags for the Make-A-Wish children.

“It makes me cry to think of what Josh is doing. He has such kindness in his heart and he meant so much to my son,” says Magee. Thanks to Fry, the Make-a-Wish children will receive gift bags filled with yellow water bottles, yellow pens and yellow sunglasses. Fry picked them out himself.

“I like yellow,” he says with his bright smile. “A lot.” There’s a good reason for that. Fry makes no secret that he is a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. That might be a little risky to admit here in Eagle territory, but Fry was smitten with the Steelers when he was a kid. His father is from the Pittsburgh area, and Fry was 17 when he got to see a Steelers game for his birthday. The money had been raised by local businesses and friends, and it was a moment that still touches Fry more than six years later. It’s pretty clear that Fry loves the Steelers. His bedroom is decorated in golden yellow and black, from top to bottom. He even chose yellow as his company color for JoshFund.org. Of course.

                                                                                       Josh Fry

When Fry started JoshFund.org, he wanted to come up with a way to raise funds through continued small donations that can really add up. Contributors to JoshFund.org are asked to make a $5 monthly donation. It’s easy for people to afford and it keeps funds rolling in so that each month Fry can donate to his favorite organizations, or to other needs that might arise in the community.

Although JoshFund.org accepts donations of any size, they concentrate on the $5-a-Month concept, because not everyone has the available resources to give a large amount to charities. Most people find that it’s easier to give a small amount on a regular basis, and that can really add up.

“I wanted to have my own company so that I could give back to the community that helped me,” says Fry. “And I want to help Make-A-Wish to remember my good friend Chuckie.”

To make a donation, go to JoshFund.org.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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