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URBANDALE, Iowa — Vivian and Valarie Flores were more than just roommates at Iowa State University. “They walked around our office and greeted everybody with warm hugs,” said Missy Ringgenberg who serves as the director at Respite Connections in Urbandale. They were more than twin sisters. “They were inseparable,” said Ringgenberg.

The twins also had a special connection to Respite Connection social services in Urbandale where their mother Reyna Arviso works as a service supervisor. “They have this amazing ability to make you feel like you were just the person they were looking for and wanted to see at any given moment,” Ringgenberg said.

When a shooting outside of Ames Cornerstone Church in June took the lives of Vivian and Eden Montang, Ringgenberg says they lost a family member. “Really difficult for us. With a social worker heart, we want to fix things and this is something we cannot fix.”

With tragedy being the only thing that could separate the two, Valarie now faces her senior year without Vivian. Missy says hopefully it won’t be without financial help thanks to an online fundraiser. “Specifically target Valarie’s educational expenses. It would be one less burden we could do for her next year,” said Ringgenberg.

It won’t stop at just paying for rent and tuition but also any mental trauma. Ringgenberg said, “Valarie was there the day of the murder and we know she is going to need therapeutic services.”

The young lives of both girls had been filled with generosity as they began volunteering in the 4th grade serving meals to the homeless. Ringgenberg said, “Whenever someone in their community needs something they are there.”

Now, Iowans can return the favor by helping Valarie achieve the dreams she and her sister had hoped for. “I love the phrase ‘Iowa Nice. Iowans are there to support each other,” said Ringgenberg.

An online fundraiser is also set up in Vivian’s name. The family has decided that the money raised will be used to help set up a scholarship memorial that will be given to an ISU student seeking a degree in a field similar to veterinary medicine. That is the degree Vivian was on track to receive from Iowa State University.

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