Henderson family pays D / SAOC | News, Sports, Jobs
Friday marked nearly two years since Reverend Al Henderson was killed at the age of 64 outside St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
The death of the beloved pastor of Fort Dodge on October 2, 2019 sent shockwaves throughout the community of Fort Dodge. And the pain that Henderson’s family felt that night stays with them.
“We just picked up her clothes today,” Henderson’s widow Kris Henderson said Friday. “It’s as real today as it was two years ago.
Henderson’s killer Joshua Pendleton, 37, of Fort Dodge, was sentenced to life in prison in August, nearly two years after the crime.
Delays in the justice system and the COVID-19 pandemic each played a role in the protracted process of having a trial.
” Delays “, said Henderson. “It took a lot of us to write an impact statement. It was heartbreaking. Then there was no conviction. We hadn’t known for some time when we would be making statements.
“It was tiring,” said Kandi Loven, one of Henderson’s daughters.
Last year, on the anniversary of Henderson’s death, his family decided to open their doors to the community and show kindness in his honor. They did so with the help of Serving Our Servants, an organization dedicated to serving first responders founded by Henderson. The occasion became known as Pay It Forward Friday, a concept devised by TJ Pingel, President of SOS.
The idea was for local residents to show acts of kindness, big or small, in the community. And it has been successful by all accounts.
But this year, the family decided to donate it to an organization that has helped them tremendously from Henderson’s death to the day of Pendleton’s conviction.
The family raised money Friday to fund the Homicide / Other Violent Crimes program through the Domestic Sexual Assault Outreach Center.
“When you go through a tragedy like this with your family, you need support” said Kris Henderson. “They (D / SAOC) understand differently. The legal process takes so long. They help you get through it. They sit down throughout the process and debrief you afterwards. D / SAOC has been of great help to us. Very personal.
The additional financial support for D / SAOC could not have come at a better time.
Marie Harvey, director of the Homocide / Other Violent Crimes program at D / SAOC, said federal funding for the organization has been ” drastically “ reduced.
“We took a cut this year and take a big cut next year”, Harvey said. “Then it’s supposed to get better. “
The organization recently moved to a smaller office to reduce expenses.
Harvey is grateful for the kindness of the Henderson family.
“We are incredibly grateful that they are doing this for us”, Harvey said. “We didn’t expect it at all, but we really appreciate it.”
Despite some funding setbacks, Harvey said the program will go ahead to support other families like the Hendersons.
The Homicide / Other Violent Crime program helps people cope with grief and financial worries.
“Anything we can help we will” Harvey said. “We are there every time. If it’s 3 a.m., that’s okay.
“They are very good listeners”, Kandi Loven said, referring to D / SAOC staff.
Harvey said hearing that the D / SAOC had helped families was important to her.
“Hearing from families that what we do is important means a lot” Harvey said.
Harvey said the D / SAOC also hopes to bring back his support group, which has been disrupted by COVID.
“It had been going on for 20 years” she said.
In addition to fundraising for D / SAOC, the Henderson family set up a booth in their driveway with apple juice, snacks and cuteness kits. The kits included key chains, necklaces, bracelets and cards. The articles were offered to the public. Those who took the items were asked to show kindness.
“You wear it (necklace) until you find someone else who might need hope” says Kandi Loven.
Henderson said her husband would have been a huge Pay It Forward fan on Friday.
“He would be in the foreground for something like that”, she said. “He would be there to greet people. “
Kristen Willingham, another of Henderson’s daughters, said speaking with residents was helpful.
“People stop and share their story” she said. “Some people knew him, some didn’t. But it helps. Fort Dodge has a big heart.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement was doing their part to spread kindness.
Fort Dodge Police Department officers stood outside Hy-Vee on Friday morning to hand out gift cards to more than 100 shoppers.
SOS members, Fort Dodge cops, and Webster County Sheriff’s assistants handed out $ 1,000 worth of Casey gift cards to random people.
In another development, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 347, donated $ 500 to the annual Santa Cops event, which helps brighten up the holiday season for a number of children. local.
Kris Henderson praised Pingel for his efforts to keep Henderson’s memory alive.
“We are delighted that TJ has taken this initiative”, she said.