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May Difference Maker: The Murray Family Ignites Compassion in FXBG

May 03, 2024 11:41AM ● By Amanda Danaher

One local girl’s commitment to community and kindness is a shining beacon of hope in the heart of Fredericksburg.  Jane Murray, alongside her parents, Clay and Jillian, can often be found serving those less fortunate through community dinners hosted by her local church.

"We sit down, and we eat with them, and they're just regular people... It's been really cool to see kids get involved in any sort of way with this population," says Clay.

Jane has been involved since she was just two years old, and today, Jane, now 10, continues to find ways to give back through Micah Ecumenical Ministries, a coalition of local churches committed to offering support and hope to Fredericksburg’s most vulnerable. In February, the ministry hosted the “Coldest Night of the Year 5K," a nationwide event designed to aid local charities. Jane and her family, who are active with the Micah Ministries, did not miss the opportunity to join in.

“[The participants] all want to be there for others. It’s really a heart-warming vision when you see that many people care about one another,” Jillian says.

Jane did not stop at just walking the 5K. She emerged as the event's top fundraiser in Fredericksburg, raising $13,170, a testament to her and her family's dedication to serving those in need.

"It was really cool to see that Fredericksburg was the top location, too, in the entire nation, as far as fundraising," Jillian shares.

Jane’s remarkable achievement led her to the stage to kick off the race, a moment she will not soon forget.

“I felt like a superstar,” Jane says.

When asked how Jane was able to raise such a substantial amount for the event, Jillian says, “Jane's got two very excited cheerleaders here in her house."

Beyond the accolades and recognition, the Murray family's involvement in the community is driven by a desire to connect with and uplift others. They believe in the importance of seeing beyond the surface, recognizing the common humanity we all share and acknowledging the transformative power of personal connection in our lives.

"Homelessness is not a lack of housing; it's a lack of relationships," Clay says.

Inspired by mentors within their church, the Murrays have followed the examples of others while learning and growing in their commitment to serving others.

"We're just kind of following some good, faithful footsteps," Clay says.

For families looking to make a difference, the Murrays offer simple yet profound advice: start small and make service a part of your life. They believe even minimal efforts can lead to meaningful connections and understanding, fostering a more compassionate society in our next generation.

"Even just an hour of service, like once a month, kids really get a lot... It illuminates a lot of things they might not see on a day-to-day basis," Jillian says.

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