The spirit of giving back was in full swing as the Old Pueblo Faithfuls, a local non-profit organization honoring the memory of Ricardo Varela, tragically murdered in 2008, hosted their second annual backpack giveaway at Intermountain Academy.

“He was like a real loving person. He loved kids, he loved helping like I said. Something like this is just for him. Its something he would love to do,” said Ricardo’s dad and Vice President of Old Pueblo Faithfuls Bobby Varela.

Old Pueblo Faithfuls is a non-profit started three years ago by a group of guys who wanted to give back in memory of his son Ricardo, whose murder remains unsolved.

“Were a chapter that likes to help out the community,” Bobby said. “We dedicated the backpack giveaway for my son Ricardo.”

Saturday’s giveaway took place at Intermountain Academy, a K-through-twelve school for students with autism.

Bobby has two grandchildren of his own with Autism.

Despite the sweltering heat, hundreds of parents and kids showed up for free backpacks, clothes, food, and a good time.

The schools Assistant Principal Kim Gavin, who also has a daughter with autism, highlighted the importance of these community events.

“It brings our community together. It brings families, theyre able to interact. Theyre able to meet other families that are part of our academy,” she said. “I know for our family just being able to build that community is so important.”

As Bobby and the Old Pueblo Faithfuls continue their community work, Bobby still holds out hope that one day, justice will be brought for the death of his son Ricardo.

“Its an unsolved murder and having his picture out here would help if somebody walks out here and sees [his picture] and knows something about it. If they know something about it, call 88-CRIME, let them know,” Bobby said.