Devils Lake dad who lost daughter by suicide gives back to the community in her honor
DEVILS LAKE, ND--Shining a bright light on a dark day.
Instead of grieving on the one year anniversary of his daughter's suicide - this dad gave back to the community in her honor.
It may look like Shane Paulsen just visited the grocery store - so much food he needed the help of the Devils Lake Police Chief, Mayor, and a city commissioner to unload the car.
"It's work, I'm a truck driver, I'm used to just siting in the seat," said Shane Paulsen.
But this food isn't for him - it's for the community.
Three car loads of food for the Hope Center - the local food pantry - in honor of his daughter.
"I was really dreading Dec. 2, I was having bad thoughts, and I didn't want to react on those."
A day this father will never forget.
"Woke up to a gunshot at 7 a.m., my daughter had committed suicide, worst thing any parent can experience," Paulsen said.
This single dad had just lost the pride and joy of his life, his 11-year-old daughter Madissen.
A few weeks later, more tragedy - Madissen's best friend, 11-year old Sophia Leaf, also took her own life.
"I didn't want it to be the worst day of my life anymore, I wanted to give myself something to look forward to every year and give back to the community that was there for me," Paulsen said.
So instead of grieving on the one year anniversary, Shane held a clothing and food drive at Thirsty's Bar to give back to the community that helped him last year.
"Shane's efforts are definitely hands from heaven," said Hope Center Board Member Jeff Wahl.
The Hope Center says the food comes at a critical time.
"Two out of every six children are suffering some sort of hunger out there right now in the Lake Region, this is a critical time of year with smaller budgets due to shopping," Wahl said.
"It's never going to go away but I can make it better," Paulsen said.
A grieving dad - allowing his daughter's kind heart to continue pumping love into the community.
"Turn Dec. 2 into a day I can look forward to and a day of hope, charity and strength."
Paulsen hopes to do the food drive again next year.