Heart ‘torn apart’ by Warren murders, warmed by love
Earlier this week, we wrote about a small bit of good news in the wake of a tragedy
We'd also reported this week on the deaths of Heidi Errickson, and her brother, Frederick Errickson, in Warren Township. Authorities say Heidi Errickson's finance, John Reno, fatally shot them both before turning a gun on himself.
But then we learned about how the community was coming together, to help Heidi Errickson's son pay for his college tuition after losing his mother — a woman who'd endured tragedy of her own years earlier, losing her husband in a crash that also took her arm.
The family behind the GoFundMe.com fundraiser wrote to us Friday to tell us it's spiked — it was at $45,900 when they wrote in, and as of Friday night was at more than $51,000.
Robin Oxendine Beard and 17-year-oldson Connor Beard couldn't be more pleased. And they've heard from Heidi Errickson's family, which was deeply touched by the support.
First off, the college fund for Heidi Errickson's son, Gabe Vallie, is above $46,900, 575 people have contributed, over 2,800 people have shared it and it has reached over 24,000 people in two days! But most importantly, it has been a source of immeasurable comfort to the family. Heidi's sister called Connor and me tonight and thanked us — it was totally unexpected and totally AMAZING.
And Connor Beard continues, in a message he also shared on the fundraiser site:
I just got off the phone with Heidi Errickson's sister, and it was one of the most wonderful, heartwarming, amazing conversations I've ever had in my life. She said something like this (I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember her exact words, but it was very similar to this. I wrote down as much as I could remember when we hung up):
When my heart was so torn apart you can't even imagine, at my darkest hour — you have no idea what this fund and these messages have meant to Gabe, me and my whole family. At a time when I had lost all faith in humanity and saw so much evil in this world, these stories about my sister and how she touched so many lives and the amazing financial support of so many on this fund, has truly restored my faith that there is goodness in this world. Okay, I'm going with 98% goodness in the world ;-).
"Gabe and my entire family can never thank you enough. You and all the supporters on this site cannot believe what a difference this has made for us. We're trying to stay off social media because there are negative messages out there, but this site is all goodness and love and has brought us so much comfort. I can't thank you enough. My daughter reads the messages to me at night and they just warm my heart. Words cannot express how much this site has meant to us. I can't thank you enough."
She said she wasn't very good at expressing her feelings, but I think she was awesome.
The fact that she took time out to call me just days after losing her wonderful brother and sister to thank me and all of you for the incredible support, just blows my mind. This is such an amazing family. So if you have more supportive messages, personal stories or love you'd like to share, please know it is giving them more comfort than you'll ever know.
Connor goes on to encourage those who can't afford to donate to share comforting messages on the GoFundMe.com fundraiser
"Thank so much for your support, he wrote. "It's just insane."