FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "If you had to leave your house at one in the morning with nothing, what would you need the next day?" asked Eleanor Richards.
For Eleanor, that question isn't hypothetical. She vividly remembers a call at that time from her daughter Anna, who found the courage to leave her abusive husband.
Anna, a Clovis Unified early education teacher, and her son stayed with Eleanor for years before the unfathomable happened October of last year.
"We didn't know there was a tracker on her car. We didn't know to the degree the other person was disintegrating," explained Richards. "She was murdered in our front yard. They had just come back from the Fresno Fair and were so happy I had talked to her 20 minutes before on the phone.
At 38 years old, Anna was killed by her estranged husband.
"Anna had taught her son a safe word and he had hidden. He witnessed everything," Eleanor said.
"The intention was to kill all of us that night. My daughter, my grandson, my husband and me, so he saved us.
That code word was something Anna learned in her support group at the Marjaree Mason Center.
Eleanor is making sure Anna's gift of finding and supporting those in need doesn't end with her tragic death.
"We wanted to thank Marjaree Mason because they really did help Anna at a critical time. There was the pandemic. She was trying to get a divorce she was being stalked," Eleanor said.
Aimed at helping those transitioning to safe housing, Anna Bags were created by Eleanor and her grandson.
"He collects plastic bottles and cans we recycle them and the money goes into buying the products," Eleanor explained. "We constantly add new things but primarily they're toiletries a few little goody things to make people feel comfortable and supported at a time when they most need it."
Found on the lining of the bag are words Anna lived by -- 'smile' and 'laugh.'
"It's given us permission to go back and smile and laugh and have joy in our life again," Eleanor said.
You can support the Marjaree Mason Center's wish list this holiday season by clicking here.