ARIZONA’S HEART & SOL: Mother turns tragedy into good for others

Updated: Nov. 26, 2020 at 7:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Every week, KOLD News 13 is rewarding those in the community who go above and beyond in Arizona’s Heart and Sol, sponsored by Casino Del Sol. Ann Shaylor is the most receipt award recipient.

These days, Ann Shaylor spends a lot of her time making jam.

“It’s nothing unless you can give it away to someone who really needs a treat,” she said.

It is not for her, or her family, but for those who can’t get out. Shaylor has a good habit of giving to others, but it started with a tragedy.

“It felt okay. It felt like I was doing something for somebody else,” she said.

Shaylor lost her 24-year-old daughter, Cassie Shaylor, in a domestic violence murder. A young life taken too soon, but Shaylor uses her grief to help others, much like her daughter Cassie always did.

“She was always helping friends. I know she would like me helping other people,” said Shaylor.

She donated her daughter’s clothes to a local high school for girls who couldn’t afford dresses. She started volunteering at the local food bank every week. She helps others in “Homicide Survivors” cope and grieve. The anniversary of her daughter’s murder just passed on Nov. 20.

“It’s just the only way I was able to cope with her death… if I was doing something for somebody else. It started to heal me a little bit,” she said. “It just saved me.”

Carrie Walker understands. She nominated Shaylor. They share a tragic connection. Walker’s son was allegedly killed, by the same person murdered Shaylor’s daughter. She said only through Shaylor’s support was she able to get by.

“(She’s) my long lost soul mate,” said Walker. “We’re sisters, we didn’t plan on being. I don’t know how to describe it.”

“It’s a terrible thing to have in common, but we support each other,” said Shaylor.

Walker describes Shaylor as always having an ear open ready to listen to someone, a hand ready to help out and an idea to help someone in need. For these reasons, and for so many more, Shaylor is Arizona’s Heart and Sol. Thanks to Casino Del Sol, Shaylor received $300. As soon as she got the money, she thought of others.

“It feels like I should share it,” she said tearfully.

If you have someone you think embodies the “Arizona’s Heart and Sol,” please nominate them here.

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