Jackson parents to hold toy drive honoring child lost to gun violence
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jackson family lost their 21-year-old daughter to gun violence over the summer, and now they’re using her murder as fuel to give back to the community ahead of the holidays.
November 24th would normally be a celebratory time for Katrina and Spurgeon Banyard as their daughter Kaylin would’ve turned 22.
“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t wake up thinking about our daughter not being here with us anymore,” Spurgeon said.
Instead, family and friends got together at Kaylin’s gravesite Wednesday for a balloon release.
Kaylin was murdered on the last night of June just down the street from her parent’s daycare, which she was prepared to take over following her graduation in December.
“Kaylin loved children,” Katrina said. “As everybody knows she had a deep, strong passion for children.”
Her alleged killer is Terrance Young. Young is a repeat offender who was out on bond in connection with multiple felony charges at the time of the murder.
Since then, 55 others have lost their lives to gun violence in the Capital City.
“There are a lot of senseless, senseless killings and the crime rate is high in Jackson,” Katrina said.
The Banyards considered moving but felt they needed to continue providing a solid foundation for Jackson’s youth.
“We thought about leaving the community but our children need us, and if we abandon them, then what’s to say for their future,” Katrina said.
On Saturday, they’re holding a toy drive in Kaylin’s name to collect Christmas gifts for children who’ve lost their parents to gun violence.
“I know that she’s smiling down and she’s excited to see people out here doing the works for her that she has kind of set in place,” Katrina said.
“It’s helping us keep her memory alive and keep her name alive, and it’s giving us a sense of peace as well,” Spurgeon said.
It won’t be the last time you see the Banyard’s giving back to the community.
“We’re going to stay in the fight to continue to mentor and groom young ladies and young men to help them become successful,” Spurgeon said.
If you’d like to make donations, contact Jatonda Baggett at 601-709-6029, or Beverly Baggett at 601-850-3606.
Toys and donations may also be dropped off or mailed to Foundation First Development Center at 3878 Terry Road Jackson, MS 39212.
Cash App donations may be sent to $katrinabanyard.
Donations will be accepted through December 10th with disbursements being made to families on December 17th.
The toy drive will take place Saturday, November 27th, from 10am-3pm at Kid’s Zone – 3505 Terry Road Suite 105 Jackson MS, 39212
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