KILLEEN, Texas: Volunteers put together a drive thru barbecue to help the family of PFC Vanessa Guillen to assist with their lodging while temporarily living in Killeen as well as paying lawyers and private investigators in the search for Guillen.
Hundreds of cars drove through at the Moss Rose Community Center in Killeen. The family decided on the barbecue idea to offer something to their supporters when they donate.
“The family said they didn’t want to do hand-outs, they appreciate everybody helping, however, they wanted to do something and be active in it,” one of the volunteers, Analuisa Carrillo-Tapia said. “So they suggested a fundraiser selling a plate.”
The plates, with three choice of meats, were handed out in part by another local club offering a hand.
Odin’s Few, a biker club made up of veterans focusing on helping veteran causes, helped deliver the meals to cars after hearing one of their members knew the Guillen family. For the Coryell County’s vice president Austin Finnan, they weren’t going to miss it.
“It means a lot to us because no soldier should ever go missing on post, plain and simple,” Finnan said. “No family should have to go through that pain of missing that loved one.”
The rest of the cooks, servers and waiters were all volunteers.
“There is no option. We needed to help, we needed to step in, we needed to help out wherever we could,” Carrillo-Tapia said. “We’re not CID, we’re not investigators, we are community.”
That community is now rallying around the Guillen family.
Most of the family is living temporarily in Killeen while some of them go back and forth to Houston every week.
“We’re not originally from here but we have a lot of support from people we don’t know, which means a lot,” Vanessa’s sister, Yovanna Guillen said. “It’s tiring [going back and forth], but you know you’re doing it for someone you love, so we’re not gonna give up.”
You can find out more ways to donate on their Facebook page.