CONIFER, Colo. -- Maggie Long was killed two years ago, but her giving spirit lives on.
Long would have been 18 years old on Dec. 17, 2017. She had plans to spend that birthday giving back but didn’t get that opportunity when she was killed on Dec. 1.
On Friday, a group of friends and family got together in Conifer to put together backpacks filled with socks and gloves along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
“This is kind of what Maggie had planned to do for her 18th birthday before she died,” said Connie Long, Maggie’s sister.
“She had shown interest in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for her 18th birthday,” Lauren Hunt said.
For the second year in a row, friends and family came together to bring her wish to fruition in a two-day operation.
The first day was all about preparations: packing backpacks with warm gloves and socks and assembling sandwich after sandwich.
“I think we’ve planned on 200 but it’s looking like 400 or 500 because of donations,” Hunt said, adding, “We’re not going to let anything go to waste.”
Saturday, they plan on handing out these care packs to those in need in downtown Denver.
“We’ll do our best to keep her spirit alive,” Hunt said.
Doing what Maggie would have wanted to do is also therapeutic to those who loved her so much.
“Especially around this time of year, it’s just a difficult time of year,” Connie Long said, adding, “We have to deal with the anniversary of her death and then it’s her birthday and the holiday. Even though it’s a difficult emotional time, I think it’s a good way to give back to the community and remember the spirit Maggie had.”
Loved ones say this giving spirit keeps them going when there is still so much unknown in Maggie’s case.
“Because celebrating the almost 18 years we had with her is a lot more important to us than being fixated on the last few hours of her life,” Connie Long said.
If you want to help give out the care packs, volunteers are meeting at the back of Safeway parking lot in Conifer Town Center at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Nicole Fierro wrote this report.