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'This is what we could do' | Fairfield community helping Graber family with fundraiser

As the Fairfield community mourns Graber's death, two 16 year-olds are facing first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing her.

ELDON, Iowa — As we've so often seen after a tragedy in a small Iowa town, the Fairfield community is coming together.

Residents are raising funds for the family of Nohema Graber, a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School whose body was found under a tarp in a local park on Nov. 2. Two 16-year-old boys are charged with her murder.

Sherry Vanblaricom, owner of Ace Graphics and Printings wanted to show some small-town support to help ensure the positive legacy of Nohema lives on.

"I don't think that this should define Fairfield. I think that people in a small town help people, they don't turn their head," Sherry said. "They just do what they can to help. And this is what we could do."

Sherry made a t-shirt design with the words "Small Town Big Love" and created a fundraiser online to send proceeds from each sale to the Graber family.

"We raised $350 In less than an hour. And then I had numerous messages of people that still wanted to purchase."

As soon as retired community member Linda Marley heard what Sherry was up to, she wanted to pitch in. 

"Our community is heartbroken. We are shell-shocked. And I felt like this was just an opportunity to do something good," Linda said. 

Even though the fundraiser for this shirt is closed, you can still get these shirts at Empowered Nutrition in Fairfield.

Sherry hopes the community of Fairfield can lead by the example of Nohema's children. 

 "By seeing her children's posts, they are forgiving. I think the community should follow that. As hard as it is," Sherry said. 

Meanwhile, the community as a whole continues to mourn the tremendous loss of Nohema. Dr. Scott Terry, a therapist in Fairfield, said he's spent the past week talking to dozens of community members about her. 

He told Local 5 the biggest need for the community right now is to come together. 

"We can make a difference. Each and every one of us. How many people throughout a day do you connect with? And how many people do they connect with? And how many people do they influence or touch?" Terry said. "It doesn't have to be this huge thing. Always. It can be something small, a little nugget. Where can I create greater peace? Greater possibility?"

WATCH | As community mourns loss of teacher, Fairfield therapist hopes they can come together