COLUMBIA – Friends and family of John Albers raised more than $1,000 to honor him near the anniversary of his death.

Albers died after intervening in an argument, according to court documents. Garland Wisley is charged with shooting and killing Albers in January of 2019.

His sister, Kate Albers, said it is no surprise he stood up for someone else.

"He was a pretty great guy," she said.

Two days shy of the date of his death, Albers' sister and other friends donated a meal to Loaves and Fishes, a charity, to keep his memory alive.

"This meal is being put together in his honor," his sister said. "He never really cared about money and one of the most important things to him was kindness and fairness and treating people right."

Daniel Swindell is a lifelong friend of Albers. The two met when Swindell was 14-years-old. Swindell was new to the neighborhood, and was being picked on by another teenager.

"He actually stopped the person," Swindell said. "That was the first time I met him."

Instead of dwelling on the unfortunate circumstances of Albers' death, Swindell said it is important to push his friend's legacy forward.

"It really is trying to turn something negative into something positive," he said.

The group purchased a few dozen pizzas and also assembled care packages, including winter accessories, for those served at Loaves and Fishes.

Albers' sister said this feeling of community came natural to her brother.

"You don't have to be related to people to feel like they're family," she said.

Albers' sister and friends hope other people will perform acts of kindness for those in need.

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