Shuck family receives support through “Live to Give”

By Rory McCarty

Please read Rory McCarty’s original report on the Shuck family, published 12/3/08, here.


Senior Reporter

In December, OU student Aricka Shuck and her family found themselves homeless after a long series of medical and financial disasters left them without the ability to support themselves. Though they managed to find shelter living with another family, little has changed in the past four months.

Charity group Live to Give is hoping to change that by getting support for the Shuck family through fund raisers and by raising awareness of the Shuck family’s situation.

Live to Give, a charity run by five people under 30 years of age, is trying to raise support in order to win a $10,000 grant from the MiPro Consulting  in order to help the Shuck family and others. They are completing  with organizations like Beaumont Hospitals and Covenant House Michigan for the most online votes to win the grant money.

Ryan Doyle, a University of Michigan alumnus, is one of the two men who started Live to Give.

“It’s very important to us to be reaching out to local families, especially in our own back yard,” Doyle said. “We’re trying to demonstrate that young America can make a difference.”

The Shuck family is the third one that Live to Give has helped since they started in 2006. Doyle said that in the past, Live to Give helped a family raise $6200 for medical concerns and helped get the father an interview for a heart transplant. He also said they’ve also helped alleviate the medical financial concerns of the family of a terminally ill woman.

The Shuck family has had their own share of medical problems, including Aricka’s ongoing illness, which they said doctors now believe is related to an adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s disease.

“I’m just really tired all the time,” Aricka said. Aricka said she’s been going to a free clinic in Royal Oak over the past few months, but her illness has not improved. She said she is still in constant pain. Aricka’s mother and father have had  medical problems as well.  Her mother, Terry Shuck, has been  admitted to the hospital three times this year.

However, the Shuck family has received  some positive support from concerned family and friends in the past few months. The Shucks have no  car, since one car was wrecked in a crash last year, and another was towed to Flat Rock, Michigan after it was left at a gas station overnight and marked as abandoned a year ago. A family friend who owns a towing company agreed to help tow the car home and fix it up for them.

“They had put four new tires on it, fixed the brakes, replaced the battery, and cleaned it inside and out,” Terry said. “So that was a miracle. That was a blessing.” She said now they need to  be able to afford insurance and license plates for it before they can drive it.

Another friend offered to pay one month of fees to let the Shuck’s keep their belongings in storage, which they said cost $600 a month. Aricka said when they’re late on their storage fees, they are locked out of the storage units and have 30 days to pay them back before the storage company auctions off their belongings.

“In a few weeks we’re going to be locked out and chance losing it all again,” Aricka said. “Until my dad gets a job, we’re still in a bad place.”

Aricka’s father has had little luck in finding a job, due to issues surrounding  his medical problems and what he referred to as “age discrimination.” Additionally, he said he’s also been on his third interview for  jobs when the companies decide to retract the job offer, due to the state of the economy.

That’s one of the things that Live to Give is hoping to help the Shucks with. “We’ll try to help get their foot in the door,” Doyle said.

In addition to their attempts to win the MiPro grant, they are also planning different fundraisers to support the Shucks, though nothing is concrete yet.

“Win or lose, we’re going to support the family,” Doyle said.

Doyle decided to start Live to Give after seeing a “60 Minutes” report that said that the poorer members of society tend to donate more to charity than the upper classes. “Being someone with a totally blessed life, it was one of those ‘look in the mirror’ moments,” he said. “I measure myself by the impact we have on society.”

Live to Give is hoping to help five more families this year in addition to the Shucks, and raise $25,000. They make videos of the experiences they create helping people and post them on the Live to Give website, to give donators a more personal look at how their money is helping people.

“They’re trying to change the world one family at a time,” Aricka said.

Doyle and the Shucks are encouraging people to vote for Live to Give to win the MiPro grant via their website, The deadline for voting