OKEECHOBEE - A local family is grieving the loss of their newborn son this week. Many in the community have come together to help Chrislyn and Chase Powell.
Kaitlyn Walters , having been through the loss of her own child three years ago, reached out to the family to see what type of help they needed. She discovered a GoFundMe account had been set up to raise money for the funeral expenses and the goal for that was met quickly. She also found that the baby's father would have to return to work soon, because they could not afford for him to be out of work any longer.
Remembering the aftermath of her own loss, Walters knew it would be very difficult for the family to go on with life so soon. She decided to organize another fundraiser to assist the family in taking more time off from work, so they can spend the time at home together.
The new fundraiser is a raffle and includes many items donated by individuals and businesses in the community. At the time of this writing, donations have been received from Fast Break, Marks Garden, Trigg Co., GLOW Beauty Bar, Syfrett Feed, Salt of the Earth Custom Designs, B&G Designs, Debbie's Deals and Discounts, Jazzy Bling, American Drilling, Lollie''s Hamper, The Country Boutique, Sharon's Hidden Treasures, Patty and Marcos Montes De Oca, Travis Woods Concrete LLC, Skull Hill Archery, Krafts by Kim, Gilbert Outdoors, Hippie Daze, Rusty Cactus Soap Inc., Brad Goodbread Trucking, Countryside Trees and Services, Total Roadside and Golden Corral.
Donations included $300 in Visa/Mastercard gift cards, local business gift cards, a 45-gallon Truck Gear Line-X cooler filled with goodies, custom tumblers, a canvas painting and many more. All of the donations are combined in a single raffle drawing. Winner takes it all. The drawing will take place on April 23. Every penny of the proceeds will go straight to the family.
Donations to be included in the raffle can be made up until 9 a.m. on Friday, April 16. At that time, ticket sales will open and will continue until the following Friday at 7 p.m.
Tickets will be $10 each or three for $25. They can be purchased by calling Kaitlyn Walters at 863-532-3957, Cpl. Jack Nash from OCSO at 863-763-3117 ext. 5018 or by visiting Fast Break, Trigg Co. or Skull Hill Archery
In addition to the raffle, locals have organized a food train to get meals cooked and delivered to the family. Kristina Cabral is heading that up through her church, Northside Baptist. Cabral and some of the ladies from her church are doing the cooking and they are using volunteers to deliver them. Several local businesses donated meat and canned goods for the ladies to use. Anyone interested in helping with deliveries is asked to call 863-697-6228 or sign up online at mealtrain.com.
"These are the types of things the community did for us when we lost Mark," said Walters. "I want them to be as well cared for as we were. Okeechobee is one of the best communities ever."