It's been two months since Everman police officer Alex Arango died from COVID-19. And as his family prepares for their first Christmas without him, they’re channeling their grief into giving for the community he served.
“Christmas was the best time of the year. And as we get closer to that day, it gets harder for me every day to wake up with a smile and try to make it through the day,” said Danet Arango-Henry.
Back in November, over the span of just a few days, Arango-Henry lost her big brother and mother to the virus. She said the hardest part, still, is knowing they died alone.
“It's just a big void in our hearts right now,” said Arango-Henry.
It’s a void that can also be felt in Everman where her brother, Officer Alex Arango protected and served for more than two decades.
“We can see he gave so much to the community, especially to the kids,” said Arango-Henry.
To pick up where he left off, his family started fundraising in the wake of his death in the hopes of gifting Everman elementary students goodie bags complete with a coloring book, a gift card for a meal and a note explaining the reason behind it.
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"It just says in honor of officer Alex Arango, his family wanted to give a little something in honor of your love and support,” said Arango-Henry.
In the end, what started as a simple idea meant to soothe their grief will help make Christmas a little brighter for 1,200 kids.
"Out of our tragedy, we do want some happiness to come out of this,” said Arango-Henry.
The family hopes this can become a yearly tradition. They’ll continue fundraising by selling t-shirts in Officer Arango’s memory here.