ACTS taking donations to aid grieving family
Areas Christians Together in Service is seeking help for a family in crisis.
Dustina Leco-Murrillo, 32, died Saturday from complications related to giving birth to her 10th child.
Her family needs money to bury her.
ACTS executive director Twanna Jones said contributions from the community could help with funeral services and provide clothing and food for those left behind.
“They have so many needs,” she said. “They don’t know how to grieve and over what.”
Jones said Leco-Murrillo took care of the family, which consists of her mother and her children, with money from her part-time job and government assistance.
She said her death was a shock to everyone.
“This is the time when people are supposed to be joyful,” Jones said. “When this grandmother looks down at her granddaughter, she sees pain.”
Marva Lemus-Murrillo, the children’s grandmother, said accepting responsibility so suddenly has been difficult — financially and emotionally.
“She wasn’t just my daughter,” she said. “She was my best friend.”
Lemus-Murrillo said she is ready to bury Leco-Murrillo for the children’s closure.
“The kids need somewhere they can go, a place where she will always be for them,” she said. “They are going through so many emotions right now.”
Jones said she hopes the family can hold funeral services at a local funeral home. It could cost about $6,000.
Phyllis C. Stainback, a member of City Road United Methodist Church who adopted the family in December, said she acquired $2,500 to go towards the burial and shoes and backpacks for the children who are returning to school.
ACTS has been providing food for the family for years.
“This is a very poor family, and I have had the privilege to get to know them over the last few years,” Jones said. “When I got the call about Dustina, I thought, ‘Who would hear their cry?’ ”
Stainback said the newborn was named Destiny Dustina in Leco-Murrillo’s remembrance. She was born a healthy 10 pounds.
“Her eyes have been open since the day she was born, and now she is looking and following,” she said.
Lemus-Murrillo said the baby inherited her father’s last name, Trowbridge. He and his family have been helping with burial arrangements, as well.
She said her main goal is making sure the children stay together. That is what her daughter wanted.
Jones said this family is one example of many who are lost and suffering.
“The community needs to see what we do and see on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to help?
For more information on how to get involved, contact Area Christians Together in Service executive director Twanna Jones at (252) 492-8231.