Akyra Monet Murray
Akyra Monet Murray was the youngest victim of the Pulse shooting. At 18, she had just graduated high school and had plans to attend and play basketball at a small Catholic college in Pennsylvania.
With so much of life spreading out before her, there were dreams, adventures ... so many firsts in her future. But despite her youth, Akyra had already accomplished much: she graduated third in her class, led her high school basketball team in scoring and served as a "natural leader" who impressed and inspired her peers.
What would she have become? What could children around the world learn, achieve and give back to our would if given the chance to thrive and grow ... or simply survive?
We thought of Akyra - and young people throughout the world - as we volunteered at Feeding Children Everywhere this weekend. With the mission of assembling healthy, easily-shipped meals for hungry children - from around Central Florida to around the country to around the world - FCE hosts groups of people big and small to take part in hunger projects.
Besides knowing we helped feed 25,000 kids with the day's project, we had a great time with our friends Michael, Andrew and Abby who had invited us along. And with upbeat dance music and an encouraging, friendly staff, FCE creates a high-energy environment that is fun for kids, families, groups and pretty much anyone.
Anyone who can rock a hair net, that is.