Community rallies behind three children who lost both parents
Posted July 31
West Palm Beach, FL — Many people have been pitching in after learning a young mother -- nine months pregnant with twins and coping with the murder of her boyfriend earlier this month – suddenly died days after giving birth.
Ever since her passing on Wednesday, the community is trying to to ensure the future of those twins and another child left behind.
On July 11, West Palm Beach police said someone shot and killed 26-year-old Jevaughn Suckoo inside his home at the Renaissance Apartments. He left behind his girlfriend Caceres, who was pregnant with their twins, and their 2-year old daughter Kailanie. Caceres gave birth days later, but died from child birth complications this week.
"It hit hard, it hit home, I feel like I really wanted to do something for this family," said Princess Mandy Mo, a local mother who donated several items to the family on Friday.
Caceres' workplace, Juan Batista Pediatrics, has become the drop-off point for donations for the children. All day Thursday and Friday, countless strangers brought donations of clothes, diapers, baby formula and toys.
Family friends have also created a new GoFundMe page for the children. The page gathered more than $15,000 in donations with 24 hours.
For Luisa Abreu, she knew what she had to do.
"I had to," she said, unloading bags of clothes, formula and toys from her car. "I just want them to know their tragedy has hit every community."
After posting to various Facebook groups to drum up donations, she spent two days gathering formula, diapers and clothes from across town.
"Loxahatchee, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens. Not everybody that is donating has the ability to drive here, so that's why I'm picking up and dropping off," she said. "I'm doing this from the heart, you know what I mean? That's what everybody should do," Abreu said.
Joseph Schwamberger unloaded a car full of diapers and other donations as his baby son watched.
"No child should ever have to go through that," he said.
Schwamberger said he understands the pain of losing someone. Brain cancer took his young son.
"He passed away when he was four...so I've been in situations to where I've needed help as well, so that's why I always try to give back as much as I can," he said.
The office where the donations are being kept is starting to run out of room. Family friends are searching for more storage to hold all of the items going to the kids.
Meanwhile, Suckoo's neighbors at Renaissance Apartments in West Palm Beach apartment are concerned his killer is still at large.
One neighbor, who is a mother and did not want to be identified said after hearing news of Caceres's passing, she gathered up everything she could to donate.
She said she has lost family members to shootings, including some who also left behind children.
"Gun violence affects everyone, not just the person its targeted towards. Everyone. It affects the family and community. And it's time for everyone to come together," she said.
The Caceres family issued a statement on Friday, saying they are appreciative of all the love and support being shown during this difficult time.
"[Stephanie] was the best daughter any parent could ever ask for, she had the most beautiful personality and spirit. She was such a blessing to everybody around her. She was such a dedicated mother, her kids were her whole world and there was nothing she wouldn't do for them. She was an amazing friend to all and the most phenomenal sister, niece, cousin and aunt," the statement reads.
The family said the three kids are doing great, are healthy and are in the care of their loving grandparents.
"Kailanie, Lailah and Jevaughn are surrounded by a circle of loving family and friends who will keep their parents memory alive through them. Each twin carries on their parents name. Jevaughn Dwight Marc Suckoo Jr. and Lailah Stephanie Suckoo were born 07/14/17 at 11:48 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. Both were 5lbs and 7oz, they're the most precious and calmest babies. Lailah is already inseparable from her big brother. She loves being close to him and is the happiest when they are able to hold each other. Kailanie is the most amazing big sister and the protector of her little brother and sister," read the statement.
For now, the donations will keep on flowing.
"Once you become a mom, it's like a rite of passage. You want to help other people out," said Mo.
On social media, many people have been asking about breast milk. Family friends said they do not need donations of breast milk. The twins are being bottle fed with Enfamil newborn formula.
The children's biggest needs are formula, diapers and baby wipes.
Donations can be dropped off at the pediatrics office on 1840 Forrest Hill Blvd. Suite 101 in West Palm Beach.