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A hardship fund forRobin & Wayne Jefferson and family

$5,517 given of $56,300 goal

Help Us Recover from Gun Violence

Started by: Kristin Cherry Jackson

25 shares

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This PlumFund is to raise funds for my friend Robin, her husband Wayne, and their family. Three months ago, Robin and Wayne’s son Soloman, just 17 years old, was murdered.

Here’s Robin’s story, as she relayed it to me (and gave me permission to share here). The pain absolutely comes through. You can hear the heartbreak and despair in her voice:

“On December 30th, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee, our 17 year old son Soloman was murdered by boys that he thought were his friends. They came with their dad & gunned our son down in our own yard as if he was nothing. I'm told they were upset about $50 my son owed them. That's even more heartbreaking – that they didn't see greater value in life. My husband/his dad was critically wounded in his efforts to protect his family. We're homeowners, but we no longer feel safe in the one place where you should feel the safest.

"Once the ‘crime scene’ is wrapped up we were left with this contact card for a detective that we've never been able to reach. As we struggle for peace, for understanding, for justice I just can't help but think ‘If a white person or a police officer had done this, it would be a national concern, a celebrity concern, or just even a city wide concern, but instead it remains a community concern.’ Why is that, if all Black Lives really Matter?

“I want the same fight for justice, for awareness of the tragic community violence that goes unheard of. Our son was not killed by a white person or a cop but his life mattered & he deserves the same outrage & concern. Truth of the matter is the lack of support & awareness is why there are so many Black deaths. Our son was only 17, he did not deserve to die.

“I thought I knew hurt before but whatever this is that I'm experiencing right now I don't even have words for. My biggest fear in life has now become my truth.

“I never imagined life without my 1st born. I see a lot of people survive grieving; I try to hold onto that for hope. My days are such a rollercoaster. Now I just feel stuck & uncertain of what's next for us. We do know that Memphis may not be a part of our next chapter, we just don't know how where or when.”

It’s sad how “unremarkable” Soloman’s death was to the local media. I've verified that this shooting occurred, and that Soloman and Wayne were literally gunned down in the front yard of their home in Memphis. The local TV and newspaper barely covered it.

I asked Robin if she’s still working at her job as a school secretary…how are they doing for income? She told me, “I'm still employed with the school but I'm under a FMLA leave. I won't return until 2021-22 school term. I've been seeing 2 therapist & a psychiatrist but not much seems to help.”

I asked if I could set up a GoFundMe for her family. Robin originally asked for just $10K. I pushed back on that – my mom’s funeral arrangements were more than $10K when she died in late 2019! In her family’s situation, it’s about far more than just covering funeral expenses…that’s NOT enough to get them through and past this horrific moment, and on the way to healing. I knew that Wayne had been shot and was recovering – were there medical expenses? Were they planning to move? (How can parents walk out the front door every day, past the patch of grass where their son died?!?)

I asked Robin to put together a list of all the various expenses her family has had as a result of this situation, as well as what her family needs to get healthy and back on their feet. She told me:

“My husband is an independent contractor for sheet rock, painting, tiling (different home improvement jobs) but he hasn't been able to work either. He no longer walks with a cane & now does physical therapy 3 times a week instead of Monday through Friday. Physically he's making great progress. Medicare paid my husband's medical bills with the exception of the ambulance ride.

“It would take a lot of money to move. We want to buy a seized property and rehab it, as we did our current home.”

They still need funds to get safe & reliable transportation: “I have a vehicle but the transmission just went out & we put it in the shop. We're told it'll take $2K to repair it. We need nearly $1500 more for repairs and new tires."

Robin also needs funds to be able to continue mental health therapy for herself, and for group therapy for the whole family. And personally, I really hope to raise enough money to enable the family to get away on a modest vacation to make some happy memories together, as well as fund a weekend getaway for Robin and Wayne to reconnect with each other away from the kids. Last, I suggested hiring an attorney to work on their behalf to get the killer behind bars; Robin said, “We’ve wanted to hire an attorney to help us get justice, but we had no idea how we would pay for it.”

The total amount I’m hoping to raise for the Jefferson family is $56,300. This includes:

• $2,500 for funeral expenses and Soloman’s headstone

• $300 for the ambulance for Wayne

• $28,500 to purchase a foreclosed house and rehab it

• $4,000 for appliances (washer, dryer, fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher) for their new home

• $2,000 to rebuild their car’s transmission

• $1,450 for new tires and maintenance

• $4,800 for family counseling for one year

• $4,800 for individual counseling for Robin for one year

• $5,000 for legal assistance

• $4,250 for a family getaway to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge

• $1,500 for a weekend getaway and couple’s massage for Robin and Wayne

PLEASE consider donating. This is your chance to make a REAL DIFFERENCE in someone’s life… to restore their faith in humanity, in the most literal sense, and to counteract the emotional damage that has been inflicted upon them by this violence. It's your change to say that these Black Lives Matter to YOU. Please, be as generous as you can!

PLEASE, will you share this fundraiser with your friends and family right now?

If you know anyone who has been affected by gun violence, parents who have lost a child, or anyone else who has a heart for those who are suffering, would you consider reaching out personally to ask for their support, rather than just posting and waiting for people to see the fundraiser and respond?

Blunt and I will be personally matching all funds raised up to $10,000. If you are in a financial position to be able to match a portion of the funds raised above $10,000, please let me know privately at kristin.m.cherry@gmail.com.

THANK YOU for reading this. If you are a praying person, Robin, Wayne and their kids would appreciate your prayers. They are EXTREMELY grateful for all of the support that has been offered, and they asked me to pass along their heartfelt gratitude.

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