KALISPELL — As our reporters work to bring you breaking news stories, they encounter some amazing families that suffer tragic incidents and see the impact these incidents have on the families involved.
MTN’s Kiana Wilson and Sean Wells worked together with Toys for Tots to ensure that the family involved in the shooting in Ferndale on Sunday, December 10, 2023, would have a Christmas despite the tragic incident.
“You guys are so amazing, thank you so much. He’s gonna be so happy. He’s at the hospital right now I’m going to see him,” said Tim Craft, a family member of the Ferndale shooting victims.
Craft cried in the arms of the Toys for Tots coordinator while picking up toys for his little brother.
“We couldn't help but want to make Christmas for this little boy, this one specifically is tragic. And we just want to make this little boy's Christmas. Even if it’s just for a few moments. ” said Flathead Valley Toys for Tots coordinator Kelly King.
After being on scene at the shooting in Ferndale, MTN News learned that a five-year-old boy was in the residence during the incident and that both of his parents are in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds.
Kiana and Sean connected the family with Toys for Tots to ensure that the family would have a Christmas despite the tragedy that occurred.
“My whole family is in the hospital and I've been planning what can I do to make this Christmas better because there's a few presents under the tree that Rider got from his school. There's two presents under the tree that Rider got, mom and dad's, I opened mine already. And we usually wait until the last week so there’s nothing under either tree and this is gonna be great because it's all for him, you know,” said Craft.
Rider will be receiving numerous toys and an extra special big gift from Santa this year to hopefully provide a little cheer on Christmas morning.
Emotions were high while Toys for Tots volunteers loaded up one of Santa’s sacks with wrapped toys for Rider.
“There was a lot of tears in here this morning when we found out that we were going to make connections to get the toys to this little boy, every single child counts to us here. There was a lot of tears in here," King said. "There was a moment of silence while we thought about what we're going to do and then we just all came together like we do here and made it happen. This group of people can move mountains."
While there is still a long road of recovery ahead, Craft tells us that his family is in stable condition and should recover from the incident.
While Christmas may not be the same for the family this year, there will be presents under the tree.
“Rider I want you to know that your big brother is out here speaking to Mr. Claus himself. And Mr. Claus has given me a personal message to give you and these toys and I hope you feel better little brother. I’m coming to see you right now at the hospital. I hope you're holding mommy's hand right now, buddy,” said Craft.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay the medical expenses for the two people wounded in the shooting and to pay for the funeral expenses of the victim, 56-year-old Tammi Jordan. Donations can be made here.