Since her son’s death, Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, has been busy crisscrossing the country raising awareness about her son’s case and campaigning against Florida’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws — but with her new job as an activist, she hasn’t had much time to go back to work.
That’s where her co-workers stepped in.
Fulton’s colleagues at the Miami-Dade County housing authority pooled together $40,825 of vacation time and donated it to the still-grieving mother who has been off of work since her son’s death in February. The outpouring of support came after the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a resolution last month to allow county employees to donate vacation time to Fulton or Trayvon’s aunt, Yolanda Knight Evans, who works for the county as a water and sewer customer-service representative.
After just two-weeks of passing the resolution, the $50,000 cap the commission set on the gifts was reached, The Miami Herald reports.
In addition to the paid leave collected by Fulton, other donors have contributed nearly $100,000 to the family via wepay.com and at rallies.
“They are using the money to continue the legacy of their son,” Michael Hall, a graphic designer and marketing specialist who helped launch the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation told the Herald. “They didn’t want a situation where people could say they were profiting off the loss of their son.”
Just one month after the death of Trayvon, his parents launched the nonprofit in his memory. According to Hall, Trayvon’s parents will eventually become paid employees of the foundation. Hall says they will be compensated for their time conducting speaking engagements and other advocacy work, but their income will remain at the levels they already made.
“Anytime some tragedy happens in society, you don’t know what impact it will have,” Marlon Hill, the attorney who helped set up the foundation, told the newspaper. “The whole intention of this foundation was to speak to the broader issues. We are using it as an opportunity to do something positive.”
The foundation’s primary goal is to fuel a nationwide movement against the "Stand Your Ground" laws. Friday, Fulton released a Mother’s Day address on secondchancecampaign.org asking parents to write their governors asking them to “re-examine” the controversial laws that allow people to use deadly force in self-defense, without attempting to retreat first, when they perceive a threat.
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(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)