CLEARWATER, Fla. - Shortly after his release from state prison, Eric Frazee bought Dixie, a bubbly English Bulldog puppy. As Eric discovered, puppies hadn't changed in the eight years he was locked up, but cell phones sure have.
"They were nothing like this," said Frazee holding out his new Droid smartphone.
"I got out and looked at these and said, 'My God what do I do with this?'"
But the biggest change has been in Eric himself.
"There came a time in my life where I didn't like what I'd become. So you can either keep living that way or you can decide to do something different. And I want to do something different," said Frazee.
That 'something' was to help a perfect stranger. Through news reports, Frazee saw that a young woman, Demetra Bell Jones, was trying to raise money for a lifesaving liver transplant. Frazee not only contributed $500 dollars, he pledged to match up to $3,000 during a fundraising event.
The story touched Frazee because his mother died from organ failure at a time when he could do nothing to help.
"I had had less than a year left. I had eleven months before I came home and I lost my Mom. It was probably the most trying time in my life," he said.
The fact that Jones' father Randy Bell, was a Tampa Police officer killed while arresting a violent felon in 1998 had no bearing on Eric's generous impulse. It's just something he wanted to do for Demetra Bell Jones, for himself, and his mother.
"I just hope in some way, she can be proud of what I'm doing. That she could smile down on this and see that I had more going for me being in prison," said Frazee.
The fund set up for Demetra Bell Jones has collected about $41,000 dollars so far. Click here for more information about donating to the fund: http://www.gofundme.com/ 5zk9fg