Country music singer Granger Smith is using the loss of his child to help other children in need. 3-year-old River Smith accidentally drowned at the family's Georgetown home on June 6. Now the toddler's parents want the tragic loss to have special meaning.
"This is just the beginning," said Granger Smith in the courtyard at Dell Children's Medical Center.
Tuesday afternoon the country music star presented a check for $218,791 to the hospital. "Let this be a small token of the gratitude that we've got for you guys," said Granger.
Granger and his wife, Amber, made the donation in memory of their son River. "I'll never ever forget it. The first thing we wanted to do was start giving back to Dell Children's," said Granger.
Granger and Amber are wearing the River Smith tribute t-shirts that made Tuesday's contribution possible. The shirts sold out online and River's parents donated every penny to Dell Children's.
"I pray that nobody else ever has to go through what we've gone through, but if they do, I hope they come here because y'all were incredible," said Amber.
Granger and Amber shared long hugs and tear-filled thank yous with River's care teams.
"We watched you through our eyes, through our grieving eyes, in the worst of times, we watched you speak to our little boy like he heard you and we were hearing it. You were speaking to us and it mattered," said Granger.
"We don't understand why this happened and we'll never understand, but I promise that we're going to figure out the good. We're going to bring good from it," said Amber.
River's parents have said they plan to release another t-shirt in honor of their youngest son this fall. The proceeds from that shirt will also be donated to Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin.