Bryan Collier was not supposed to live long. He was born with craniofacial dysplasia, and doctors predicted that if for any reason he did live to see his teens, he would never walk, hold his head up, or feed himself.
Yet Collier did all those things, living 42 years to the delight of Debbie Vaughn, his beloved North Texas mother.
“That’s what people remember him by, his smile,” Vaughn said. “When that is gone, you’re empty.”
Losing her son was not easy, but Vaughn found a way to honor his memory. She created pantries in her son’s name. Each one has been installed at a Texas fire station, with one at Denton’s Central Fire Station, where her husband served for decades.
The pantries are accessible 24 hours a day and completely free for anyone in need.
“I wanted there to be a place where a person could go to get whatever they needed at whatever time they needed,” Vaughn said.
But that’s not the end of this story. When Vaughn’s community heard about her special project, they decided to chip in. One family donated $1,500 instead of buying themselves gifts for Christmas.
“Bryan loved people, but he especially loved children,” his mom said. “He’d be honored to help a child.”
Thanks to Vaughn’s efforts, pantries will be placed all over Texas in Bryan’s name.
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