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Faith in Humanity: Illinois community unites to help cancer-stricken man reap harvest

(Photo by Jason Bates)

The small farming community of Galva, Illinois is naturally close-knit, claiming only 2,589 residents according to the 2012 U.S. Census.  However, the spirit and heart of the town is big enough to power megatropolis.

Farmer Carl Bates discovered that truism first-hand.

Unable to harvest the year’s crop as result of his terminal cancer, Bates and his family turned to their fellow neighbors to help employ a few helping hands to take care of the reaping.  Only expecting a handful of folks to show up to help, the Bates family instead received an overwhelming outpouring of support.

According to, “an army” of farmers descended upon the Bates’ property on Sept. 25, bringing with them 10 combines, 16 semi-trucks and roughly 40 people.

“It took about 10 hours to harvest all 450 acres, which would have otherwise taken us nearly a week,” Bates said. “One of the things we’ve noticed is how great it is to see people help each other for a change as opposed to all the bad news stories out there.”

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