Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez
At 50, Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez was the oldest of the victims killed at the Pulse nightclub on June 12. Though he could hardly be called a senior, Franky liked to playfully poke fun at his age. He worked in retail and called himself a "senior fashion merchandiser."
In this last act of kindness for the victims of Pulse, we honored Franky by collecting towel sets for local seniors as part of Seniors First Operation Rubber Ducky. Each year, this fantastic group gathers donations of new towel sets - bath and hand towels with a wash cloth - for seniors who could use something new and comforting for their households.
Last month, we posted a video asking friends and family to donate and were amazed at the generosity of our friends and family! Yesterday, we delivered more than 30 towel sets to Seniors First and helped wrap them! We also brought the holiday cards our friends recently helped us make, which the Seniors First staff were especially excited about.
The past few months have been such an inspiring and eye-opening journey for our family. Thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged us in this project! We have learned so much and received so much more than we have given.
In our world, violence, bigotry and hatred overshadow the light of love and kindness. In this season of good news, let me share this revelation: even one small kindness drives away the darkness. The catch is, you just have to keep them coming.
An astute but somewhat cynical friend pointed out that since we lose innocents to gun violence every day, we'd have to turn our 49 for 49 project into an infinity for infinity project.
Challenge accepted, my friend. We will.