ATHENS, Texas — Tracy Nelson lives within walking distance of John Stevens, the driver of the Athens ISD bus involved in the train crash that happened Friday.
"He's our neighbor and it's just his truck in the driveway, he doesn't seem to have a lot of visitors," Nelson said. "So actually we haven't seen any visitors since the accident which makes us want to reach out more."
Nelson said that she "felt terrible for him" and every one involved in the accident.
After she saw lots of negativity surrounding Stevens and realizing they were neighbors, Nelson reached out to others on Facebook who also wanted to show him support.
"One of the ladies is affiliated with Sand Springs Church that agreed to be the hub for us to send cards and letters to," she said.
Nelson said the words of encouragement will be sent to Stevens as long as people want to write them.
She plans to go over to the church each week to pick things up and have them taken to Stevens.
Another woman in Athens, Amber Stockard, is holding a benefit for Stevens. The event will be at Groom & Sons' Ace Hardware February 3 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
"I just think it's good for us as a community to come together and let him know that we support him," Stockard said.
There will be a bake sale, silent auction, and t-shirts sold that say 'Love Wins Standing with Mr. Stevens." She hopes the money raised will help with medical expenses from the incident and remind Stevens that he is not alone.
"For the most part no one blames him, it was an accident and I hope he just finds peace," she said.