Created: February 26, 2020 05:51 PM
(ABC 6 News) - A little over seven weeks ago, Waseca police officer Arik Matson was shot in the head while responding to a call. Since then, people from across Minnesota have come together to help the family. That includes two businesses in southeast Minnesota.
Arik’s wife Megan Matson spoke to ABC 6 News about his journey to recovery and the overwhelming community support.
"It's only been a month and a couple of weeks. But he's making strides every day. The prayers are definitely working through him and his spirits are up,” she said.
In Albert Lea, where Arik Matson grew up and worked in the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, there’s more than prayers.
Wednesday two local businesses handed Megan nearly $16,000 to help her family during Arik’s road to recovery.
"The situation was horrific. But, you know the money will help. It ain't gonna fix everything but this will help. And it's a local supporting a local person,” said Manager of Tiger City Sports Jordan Flatness.
The money comes from 407 Designz in Alden, and Tiger City Sports in Albert Lea with the help of Jimmy Jay Productions in Iowa.
Together, they made and sold about 1,200 t-shirts with the phrase “Praying for Arik.”
"I think it's healing for him to see the support,” said Lori Nelson with 407 Designz.
For now, Megan will keep the t-shirt donation a surprise from Arik.
"I want him to recover and focus on recovering,” she said.
Every night, businesses, and neighbors in the area are leaving blue lights on in support of Arik and the Matson family.
"We come home every week and it's usually about night time when we come. The girls and I will drive around town and the back roads and there's always just one more light," she said.
Albert Lea's mayor even proclaimed Saturday, February 22nd as Officer Arik Matson Day. In honor of his badge number 222, he asked people to take a moment at 2:22 to think about Arik and all law enforcement.
As the community continues to rally around the family, Arik continues to do all he can to recover.
"He was in such good spirits. He had his own little parade down in PT with the family and close friends. In his wheelchair, he had a buckle and he figured out that the buckle unbuckles. He was dancing and waving a flag. It was so cute,” she said.
While he focuses on recovering, she focuses on this:
"I think there's a purpose for why God chose Arik,” she said.
For Megan, she has started a movement of support for police officers and kindness in communities.
There are still a few “Praying for Arik” t-shirts available. To learn how you can buy a t-shirt check out the 407 Designz Facebook page or call 507-251-8964. All proceeds go to the Matson family.
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