OPINION: Overwhelmed by generosity to help Arnett family

The Arnett family during happier times. The community of Queen Creek and others have come together to raise money to help the Arnetts after a house fire took the lives of two of its family members and destroyed the family’s home. (Special to the Independent/www.gofundme.com/3aky960)

As a town that is near and dear to my heart, it’s amazing to see how fast it has pulled together to help a family in need during such a time of tragedy.

The Arnett family lost a loving wife,  mother, friend, daughter and sister and a fun, kind-hearted brother and son on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Tragedy is marked with sadness, with tears, with frustration and heartache, but it is most always accompanied by strength, kindness and love.

These are the things Juliet and her son lived their lives full of and it is something I am sure they would hope we could have today and always.

In just 24 short hours, more than $100,000 was raised to pay for the expenses the family will now face. A T-shirt fundraiser, a pancake breakfast and an online auction of goods among other things have taken up the space on many of my social media feeds, turning a terrible event into one that could give the family hope and healing.

Queen Creek was at one point a small town without a single grocery store, fast-food restaurant or even stoplight. Most everyone knew each other and grew up with each other. The Arnett family is no exception. The family grew up alongside the children of many founding Queen Creek families. While the families closest to the Arnetts are devastated and heartbroken, those new to Queen Creek are mourning alongside their community and have similarly given of their love and support.

I’ve been overwhelmed, as have so many others by the kind words of, “I didn’t know you, but we are part of your QC family” to “We love your family and are praying for you.”

Juliet was a mother to many, not just her own six children. Her life was devoted to serving others. She was an advocate for autism awareness and was part of a close-knit community that helped support other mothers and families with autistic children.

The Arnett family is finding peace in the amount of love that has been poured out and their faith has given them strength in knowing they will see their mother and brother again.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this set of circumstances, it’s that you can’t underestimate the love of your neighbors and your friends, even sometimes the people you don’t even know. Before we turn to blame, hate or confusion, let us turn to generosity and kindness — let us turn to love.

If you’d like to contribute to any of the fundraisers, you can find the information below.

There is a gofundme account (gofundme.com/3aky960); you can donate gift cards to their church bishop (his wife is Shannon Schneider Duke); an Instagram auction is being arranged (@arnettfamilyauction); T-shirts are being sold (tencow.com/arnett_family_fundraiser); the Soda Shop (both locations) will be donating 30 percent of the proceeds they make from 5-11 p.m. on Friday night (Jan. 27) and the Le Crepe food truck will donate all of its proceeds it makes at the QC Food Feastival on Friday (Jan. 27) night from 5:30-9 p.m.. Finally, this Saturday (Jan. 28) there will be an event at Queen Creek High School, a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m., where you may donate and rally around their family showing love and support.

Jamie Kottcamp Morris
Staff writer
Queen Creek High School

Editor’s note: Thank you for your letter, Ms. Morris. Readers should note it was written last week, so some of the fundraising events mentioned took place prior to the newspaper’s publication date.

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