Family's Loss Prompts Them To Help - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Family's Loss Prompts Them To Help

It's been more than three years since four young girls were killed in a fiery car accident in Tatum.   No one in town has forgotten that tragic night, and the holidays make coping everyday for the families involved even harder. But one family has found a way to make Christmas a little more bearable. 

"She loved Christmas, it was her favorite time of year."

Janet Russom's daughter Kasey Moraw, 20, was killed on September 6, 2003 in a car accident. Four girls were killed that night in an incident that would forever change the small town of Tatum.  

"That's one of the hardest holidays I think I ever went through was that first Christmas and every ornament I put up I cried, every ornament was a memory," Janet says.

But since then, Janet and her husband Allen have found a way to honor their daughter's memory. Every Christmas, they volunteer at the Gregg and Rusk Counties Foster Kids Association Christmas Party. Allen dresses up as Santa and Janet is Santa's Helper.

"They're just so excited and it's just, it makes you feel good because you've done something to help them,"

But she says it's the kids who have truly helped her and her family. 

"Kasey will never be gone, the hurt will never be gone from us but it's not that it's easier it's that it's more bearable, that we've learned from it and we try to help give back to somebody else and help them with what they're going through," she says.

Janet says she believes everything happens for a reason. Through her loss, she's able to help nearly 40 foster children during a hard time of year for them, too.   

"You have to tell yourself, no matter what, there's always someone out there that has it worse than you so let's try to make their life a little better."

That's something Janet says is living proof God is working miracles through her daughter.   

"I know she's there, I know she's with us when we're doing this.   She's up in Heaven smiling down." 

The Gregg and Rusk Counties Foster Kids Association Christmas Party is Monday night at 6:30 in Longview.   If you would like to donate or volunteer for the organization's future events, contact Deanie Ridgeway at (903) 234-0027.  

Tracy Watler/Reporting:

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