After the tragic deaths of Savannah Harding and Jacob Hahn, there is a great sense of sadness in the air in Genoa, Ohio. Beckett, the couple’s 8-month-old son, was left behind when their promising future was tragically cut short in a three-vehicle crash on a fateful Saturday night in Wood County. As the community struggles to deal with the terrible effects of an unanticipated tragedy, surprising kindness and support are popping up everywhere.
The wheels of kindness were set in motion by the owners and staff of Rayz Cafe in Genoa, who, despite not knowing Hahn and Harding personally, felt compelled to lend a helping hand. Issac St. Marie, a co-owner of Rayz Cafe, explained, “This tragedy touches people, and so many want to help.” In a gesture of solidarity, the cafe decided to donate 10% of both dine-in and carry-out food sales during their entire business hours on Wednesday to support baby Beckett.
St. Marie emphasized the relatability of the situation, stating, “It’s a young family, so it resonates with me. I have a young family. I saw a picture of the couple, and you can see the love between them.” The genuine concern for their fellow community members prompted Rayz Cafe to extend a helping hand during this challenging time. Loretta Paul, the General Manager of Rayz, expressed the sentiment ingrained in the cafe’s ethos, saying, “We’ve always been a family-oriented business here. If we can help, we do. This story pulls at your heartstrings. We want to try to help ease the pain of this terrible situation they’re going through.”
The response from the community has been overwhelming, with people making reservations, writing checks for donations, and the cafe doubling its staff to accommodate the influx of support. Genoa, a small community with a big heart, has proven once again that in times of crisis, its residents stand united to support their neighbors.
But Rayz Cafe is not the only establishment extending a helping hand. DeSTAZio’s Pizza in Elmore pledged to donate a percentage of Tuesday’s sales to Beckett. Meanwhile, Unvaulted Treasures in Luckey is collecting gift cards, cash, and baby supplies until December 23, with 5% of sales during this period also earmarked for Beckett’s support. For those who prefer a more traditional method of contribution, checks can be mailed to Unvaulted Treasures with “Beckett donation” noted in the memo line.
The compassionate outreach extends beyond Genoa, reaching neighboring communities like Maumee, where the owners of Dino’s Restaurant have established a memorial account at Genoa Bank. This account is dedicated to receiving donations intended to support Beckett’s care, providing an avenue for those who wish to contribute to the cause.
However, amidst the collective grief and the outpouring of support, it’s crucial to remember the circumstances that led to this heartbreaking situation. According to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Samantha Hammons has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in connection with the crash. Authorities allege that she was speeding when she rear-ended a vehicle, causing it to crash head-on into another car, ultimately resulting in the untimely demise of the young couple.
As the legal process unfolds, the community remains steadfast in its commitment to rally behind baby Beckett. The tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of community solidarity during times of adversity. While the pain of losing Jacob Hahn and Savannah Harding may never fully dissipate, the overwhelming support from the community provides a glimmer of hope for the future of young Beckett, a child left orphaned by an unforeseeable tragedy.
In the face of such heartbreak, these community-driven initiatives exemplify the resilience and compassion that can emerge from the darkest moments. As the community joins hands to support baby Beckett, their collective efforts become a testament to the enduring strength that lies within the bonds of a caring and compassionate society.