Volunteers Complete Community Service In Honor Of Gahanna Man


UPDATED: Saturday June 28, 2014 6:50 PM

Volunteers across the globe served their communities on Saturday in honor of a Gahanna man who lost his life after a canoeing accident.

More than 200 people met at St. Matthews Church before spreading out to give back in honor of Danny Arnold.

"Danny was a very special kid for sure," said Kevin Arnold, his father.

The 21-year-old lost his life after his canoe tipped on an outing with college friends in June of 2012.

"At the time we thought, well it was canoeing," said Kevin Arnold. "We thought how serious or how bad could this be?"

At the hospital, Kevin Arnold found his son paralyzed from the waist down, but still smiling.

"At times he was very responsive and joking. I remember him say, 'I'm going to pay your co-pay,'" said Kevin Arnold.

Complications sent Danny into a mysterious downward spiral. He died 11 days after his canoeing accident.

"Even though he's gone, he's very much a part of me," said Alison Arnold, Danny's sister.

Alison Arnold was one of more than 100 people giving blood in her brother's honor. She said she finds comfort in giving to others.

"You can just still see where he is planting in people's lives and in the community and it's all just about making a difference which is exactly what he would want," said Alison Arnold.

Danny's father said he believes his son is watching over the volunteers working at local vegetable gardens and knitting hats.

"I believe with all my heart that he is here. That he is walking amongst us. He loves and appreciates all the work everyone is doing here today," said Kevin Arnold.

People in Ireland and Italy also completed service projects in honor of Danny on Saturday.

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