Reading The Telegraph before church Sunday morning, Denise Speir felt God telling her to do something.
She had just read a story about Macon police officer Eric Dorough.
He was 4 years old when his mother, Jana Lee Cole, was stabbed to death in August 1982. Dorough and his two younger brothers also were injured in the attack.
The story mentioned that Cole’s grave is unmarked and the family was going to save money to erect a headstone.
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“It just got to me,” said Speir of Round Oak.
She made an announcement at her church, East Juliette Baptist, about the police officer’s story and the congregation collected $105.
Spier wasn’t the only person touched by the news article.
Many Middle Georgians have responded to Dorough’s story with pledges that they will donate funds to go toward erecting a marker for Dorough’s mother.
“It’s really overwhelming,” Dorough said Monday. “I did not expect this. I’m really taken aback.
“I’m very thankful for the people that have come out to support us,” he said.
Dorough said he’s working to create a fund for the donations.
“We’ve never done this before,” said Casey Dorough, Dorough’s wife. “I don’t know where to start.”
Eric Dorough said he also hopes to open a fund that would benefit family members of crime victims and help them erect memorials.
“Nothing would make me happier than to help others,” he said.
Dorough said he started receiving calls about donations while he was on patrol Sunday.
Someone called the 911 Center in hopes dispatchers could contact him about a donation and later a Bibb County Emergency Management Agency volunteer contacted him by radio.
Charles Giles, the volunteer, said he met Dorough at the Third Police Precinct office on Pio Nono Avenue and gave him $100 from his wallet.
Several other people contacted the newspaper.
Joe Norris, of Wrightsville, said he carried a copy of the article to work Monday and showed it to many of his coworkers.
He wants to make a donation as do many of his co-workers.
“I was the lucky person who had a wonderful mother and a wonderful father,” he said.
Norris said it really struck him that Dorough’s mother’s grave was unmarked and he wanted to help.
He said he empathizes with Dorough’s loss and respects his military service.
“We need to do something for this guy.”
A fund has been created at Atlantic Southern Bank. Donations can be mailed to the Jana Lee Cole Memorial Fund in care of Atlantic Southern Bank, P.O. Box 27150, Macon, Ga. 31221. Donations also can be made in person at any Atlantic Southern Bank branch in Macon.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.