HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's been almost a week since the shooting death of a little girl who was simply sleeping on her couch when she was struck by a bullet, according to Huntsville Police
3-year-old Livia Robinson died when a bullet hit her from what police call a drive-by shooting. Since her death, a fund has been set up at Redstone Federal Credit Union to help with funeral expenses. There's also been a GoFundMe set up by someone who simply wanted to help.
"Check On Yo Folks" founder Jazzii Bell said she first heard about "Sweet Livia" through her Facebook group. She wanted to reach out and help. "When I first found out about her story a member posted it on COYF. I clicked on to get the notifications for it. When I got the update on the child, it said she had passed away," Bell explained.
She immediately placed herself in the shoes of Livia's family. "Being that I have a grandson of my own who's a toddler, and I also have two daughters, it just made me feel some kind of way," Bell said.
The kind of way that makes you want to help, so she reached out to Livia's mother through Facebook. "I explained to her what I wanted to do and how I wanted to help, and she agreed to it. She said pretty much, 'whatever you want do, however you want to do it, I appreciate it. I thank you,'" Bell explained.
After the blessing from Livia's mother, Bell took the initiative and started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses for Sweet Livia. Bell said all of the money from the account goes straight into an account Livia's mother has set up at the bank.
They have raised over $6,000 so far. "I'm pleased about it. I'm really excited to know that people care enough to where we can all come together and help out," Bell said.
She said her Facebook group is pretty much a community watch group that keeps people informed on a variety of things around The Rocket City.
COYF has 28,000 members. When she started the group, she had no clue it would become so big. "I just added all my friends. They added their friends and their friends added their friends. The group is secret so you can't go on social media and find it. You have to know someone to get in it," Bell explained.
Bell said the group can be anything from helping locate a missing pet, job opportunities, to reporting crime. If it's a major crime, Bell encourages members to take information to police. "We are not crime fighters. We can not go out and arrest people or anything like that," Bell said.
But the journey to creating the page hasn't been a walk in the park. "Back in my day I used to fight, cut up, and clown around from Middle School all the way up to 23 or 24," Bell explained.
One day things changed. "I realized after a lot of my friends passed away, got killed, or went to jail this isn`t the life for me," Bell said.
So she turned her life around, got a degree and is now focusing her time and energy in making COYF a 501(c)(3). " I want to become a non-profit so that I can apply for grants and help the community. There are so many grants you can apply for. If people see what I`m trying to do trying to help and reach out to those in need. I don`t see a problem in getting that at all," Bell explained.
She's hopeful Check On Yo Folks will continue to grow to help serve the community.
She said when Livia passed, it hurt the entire Huntsville community, so the group is using its power to raise funds for her.
Livia's family will be having a vigil for her this Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Murray Road.