Across the country, people can't shake the unthinkable sadness they're experiencing in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting on United States soil.  My heart aches for them, but something else weighed on my heart all weekend.

We have a saying in the office that our amazing National Sales Director, Holly Johnson, knows everyone because she plays tennis with them.  The more I hear myself talk, I'm coming to find out the same thing about myself...but because I run with someone.

Last week, I had to share the devastating story about a home invasion that turned deadly on the outskirts of Meridian.  An armed intruder forced his way into a family's home and minutes after police shot at the suspect, the home was engulfed in flames.  Two members of the family were able to escape the home, but an 84 year-old woman didn't make it out.  One of the two survivors was flown to the Salt Lake City Burn Center where he passed away that afternoon, leaving the loan survivor a widow.

A week later, the victims have been identified.  The man who died was 54 year-old Scott McAlister and the 84 year-old woman was his mother, Carmen.  They are survived by Scott's wife, Lily McAlister.  At the time of his death, Scott was battling terminal liver cancer and doctors had given him less than a month to live.

I unfortunately knew all of this before their identities were made public. The McAlisters attend church at Legacy Church in Meridian where two of my friends from Team Run Boise also attend with their families. Both of those friends have the biggest hearts in the world and are so kind to everyone they meet that its no surprise to me that they were close to the McAlisters.  After the fire, my friend Barb (who's so amazing that I can't adequately describe the type of woman she is in words) opened her doors to Lily to help her start rebuilding her life.  Lily lost everything in the fire: the love of her life who'd she'd been married to for 29 years, her mother-in-law, all their family keepsakes, clothing and vehicle.

I was already devastated when I read the news, but my heart got heavier when I realized how close this family was to people I truly consider my own family.  I spent the weekend wondering how I can help. Now I have the answer.

The couple's niece, Michele, has set up the "Lily McAlister Fund" through a GoFundMe page to help her aunt start rebuilding essential parts of her life.  They've set a goal of raising up to $10,000 for Lily.

In the aftermath of Sunday's tragedy in Las Vegas, I've heard dozens of people in the Treasure Valley saying that today they're goal is just to do something kind that might provide someone with comfort.  If you're one of those people, please consider paying it forward to Lily by making a donation HERE.

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