Hayes started the Be A Craig Fund in honor of a man named Craig with a big heart. With a wife and six kids to care for, Hayes had a problem with reliable transportation before his career got going, so Craig stepped up in a big way. He straight-up gave the family a reliable van, which meant they could all get around safely in one vehicle for the first time.
Just as his Dream On It Tour was wrapping up, Hayes was able to make a similar gesture of kindness by donating a car to a woman named Marquita in Sacramento, California — and the moment was captured on film.
Marquita was nominated for the surprise gift by her friend and co-worker Stephanie, who wrote in to describe Marquita as a hard-working special needs teacher – and also a single mom with two kids, one of whom happens to be autistic. Despite dealing with a car that would often break down and leave her stranded, Marquita always made it to work with a smile on her face and can-do attitude.
“Marquita is a kind, caring, and compassionate person who does not let her struggles at home or with her car affect her,” Stephanie wrote. “She always has a positive attitude and I want nothing more than to provide her with reliable transportation so she can focus on raising her autistic son and teenage daughter alone.”
Hayes felt moved by the story and invited both Marquita and Stephanie to his Sacramento tour stop. And while they were there, he unveiled the big news.
“Marquita is the first recipient of the Craig fund,” Hayes explains in a video clip filmed after the surprise. “We got her this fly Ford Focus – well, I didn’t get it for her. My fans, you guys did, because of what the song ‘Craig’ meant to y’all and then you gave to the Craig Fund. … This is ridiculous, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Fans are still able to submit a story of someone they would like to “be a Craig” for. They can also buy a “Be A Craig” t-shirt with all proceeds going to the fund, or make a donation directly. Hayes’ quick-talking “You Broke Up With Me” went Platinum and reached the Top 10 at country radio in 2017, and his current single, the grooving “’90s Country” is out now, filled with feel-good references to hit makers like Deana Carter, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Joe Diffie and more.