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Child's legacy of gifting to others continues nearly 3 decades after death

Jeannetta Robinson was tragically murdered with her mother in 1984 at just 9-years-old.
Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 19:43:05-05

It's been more than three decades since Jeannetta Robinson, also known as Lil Jeannetta, was tragically murdered alongside her mother at just 9-years-old.

Jeannetta would be turning 47-years-old, but her life was cut short at the age of nine when she was tragically murdered with her mother in 1984.

While she is no longer alive, Jeannetta's legacy continues to bless other children each year on her birthday.

Her family partnered with local community organizations like the United Way to host a birthday party at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center to celebrate the late Jeanetta's birthday, but also honor the kindness that she first shared.

It all started on Jeannetta's birthday, three years before her death. That's when the then 6-year-old realized most of her friends never received a Christmas gift.

"She said mom they didn't get anything for Christmas and so she gave away her toys on her birthday," said Charles Walton, Jeannetta's uncle.

It was through that generous and simple act of kindness that continues to bring joy to children to this day.

This year, kids from the community received bags filled with school supplies, snacks, and books.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson also paid a visit to the party to honor the family.

"Out of the tragic incident that happened, the Walton family here is generating hope in the community," said Mayor Johnson.

Traci Whitley, a mother of three, had been searching for that hope this holiday season.

"As a mom, it brought joy to their eyes because last year some of us couldn't do it because we were laid off. Just to see their smile and their excitement brought joy and tears to my eyes," said Whitley.

Jeannetta's family says they hope her act of kindness more than three decades ago still resonates with kids today.

"It's important for them to receive gifts because I think it's important for them to know that they are valued and that people care about them and that they are not overlooked or forgotten in our community," said Mike Brown, Jeannetta's cousin.

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