COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Carter Strange never expected to meet so many people.
I was surprised at how many tell me they are praying for me and thinking about me, Carter says.
The 18-year-old also could not have imagined he would be brutally beaten more than a month ago while walking home through Five Points.
Carter was attacked by a group of teens in a parking lot on the 1900 block of Blossom Street.
The June 20 incident sent him to the hospital in need of life-saving surgeries.
If I have learned anything, I would say the most important thing is let the people you are close to know that you care about them, Carter adds.
It's the emotional-side that we are dealing with now," says Carter TMs mom Vicki Strange, and to be honest, it TMs the roughest part.
On Monday, a Columbia business owner and residents rallied around Carter.
When these types of situations happen, as unfortunate as they are, it doesn't mean that we are going to back away, states Executive Director Merritt McHaffie of the Five Points Association.
The event was held between Mr. Friendly TMs and Cellar on Greene. Organizers wanted to help raise money to cover Carter's mounting medical bills.
The Strange family doesn TMt have health insurance and already has a bill totaling more than $80,000.
This situation was enough to make you lose faith in people, but the way everyone has opened up to us has been incredible, Vicki adds.
While no amount of medicine can take away the pain the Strange family has endured recently, the love they're receiving from strangers eases the ache.
If you couldn TMt make it to Monday TMs event, you can still donate online. A fund has been set up to help the Strange family.