Families of Karson Whitesell, Det. Mike Doty unite after tragedy to form 'Kuddles for Kids'

- January was a heartbreaking month for two families in York County. 

York County Sheriff's Office Detective Mike Doty and Karson Whitesell were both shot and killed in two separate incidents, just days apart.

Doty was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call and Whitesell was shot dead while serving customers at a popular Fort Mill store, the Peach Stand. Although the two never met, both were dedicated to helping others and had a passion to help children. 

Related: Parents remember 19-year-old daughter gunned down at the Peach Stand

In their grief, the Whitesell and Doty families came together to create 'Kuddles for Kids" in their memory.

Related: Fallen Det. Mike Doty to be honored for saving lives through organ donation 

"Mike and Karson both had such passion for children so we thought it would be perfect to team up with Detective Doty's family on this project," Debbie Whitesell posted on her newly created non-profit organization's Facebook page, called Karson's Kompassion Project. 

The two families are asking the community to new stuffed animals for children. 

"We will be collecting stuffed animals that will be given to first responders to have on hand to give to children that they encounter in a crisis situation. I know that both Mike and Karson would be so excited about this project. We hope that you will be too," Debbie Whitesell posted. 

The drop-off locations are: 

  • All area Comporium Retail Locations - Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster 
  • CN2 - 135 Elizabeth Lane in Rock Hill 
  • The Peach Stand - 1325 Highway 160 in Fort Mill 
  • Illumine Church - 1262 Riverchase Blvd. in Rock Hill 
  • Friendship United Methodist Church - 1200 Neely Store Road in Rock Hill 
  • Manchester Creek Community Church - 1689 Springsteen Road in Rock Hill 
  • Style Masters Hair Services - 1936 Ebenezer Road in Rock Hill 
  • Studio 521 Salon & Spa - 9789 Charlotte Highway in Fort Mill 
  • OTS Media Broadcast House - 142 N Confederate Ave. in Rock Hill 
  • Springs Farm Fresh Market - 1010 Springfield Pkwy. in Fort Mill 
  • Blooming Einsteins - 2752 Pleasant Road in Fort Mill 
  • Ceramics & More - 190 Chester Street in Rock Hill 

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