ANGLETON, Texas — You’ve heard the message: don’t drink and drive. However, a couple in Angleton is spreading that message during the holiday season in their own front yard.
The couple started with one tree with just their daughter’s picture and one other victim. Now, they have 10 trees with more than 800 names. What they said is most healing is connecting with other families who share their pain.
“We’ve learned that telling my daughter’s story is therapeutic for us," John Red said.
They know every name and every name has a story. Their lives were all cut short by drunk or impaired drivers.
“We hated the holidays. We hated Christmas,” Mindy Red said.
For Mindy and John, it's personal.
“The girl who killed my daughter thought she was fine to drive," John Red said.
Michelle was 18 when was killed in 2009. She had a beautiful voice and loved to sing.
“She was pregnant at an early age ... had a baby. When she was killed, he was only 2 years old, so we raise him as our own," John Red said.
Through social media, they’ve received pictures from across the country. From old to young, even the unborn. Each picture turned into an angel.
“I’ll go into Walgreens to get the ones that we’ve had developed, and I’ll be paying and the lady will run over to me and say she’s got another one, so they know us this time of year," John Red said.
It's a project they started with one mission.
“You plan what you are going to wear, you plan where you are going to go, what friends you are going to be with, but you got to plan the way home," John Red said.
Every time someone stops, it's a reminder they are making an impact.
“A lot of people will stop and take pictures and actually read the names on each one," Mindy Red said.
“My daughter, she didn’t die for nothing, her death is not in vain," John Red said.
When they look out their windows at the army of angels, they know they're not alone.
The Reds set up a foundation in their daughter's honor. To read more about their work, click here.