The parents of deceased Kansas boy Lucas Hernandez stated on Saturday night they plan to have a public memorial for their son, but in the meantime, ask that fundraising efforts be put on hold until after their son has been laid to rest.
Jonathan Hernandez, father of 5-year-old Lucas, told CrimeOnline that a benevolence fund will be created via a non-profit agency, so that any and all donations to the family will be accounted for. Benevolence funds are typically doled out by a church or another non-profit agency to families in need to help aid them during unfortunate circumstances, whether it be missed work because of the loss of a family member, unemployment, natural disasters, and other similar circumstances.
Further, a benevolence fund will help reduce the chances of people donating to any unapproved fundraisers. No fundraisers at this time have been approved by the family, Hernandez told CrimeOnline.
A date for Lucas’ memorial is not set yet, but in a released statement, Hernandez, along with Lucas’ mother, Jamie Taylor-Orr, indicated that they are in the process of gathering up the items left for Lucas at the bridge in Harvey County, Kansas, where his remains were discovered on May 24. Balloons, stuffed animals, toys, and other items left at the bridge will be displayed at the memorial. They also stated that that they’ll make another announcement regarding the date and time of the memorial as soon as they finalize more details.
Many people in the community are reaching out to us, looking for a way to honor our beloved son. We are deeply touched by all those who are mourning and looking for a way to show how much Lucas has come to mean to them, but at this time we are asking for the public to put fundraising efforts on hold. We NEED this time to plan our child’s goodbye. We want to focus on laying him to rest in a manner that celebrates his short time on this earth. Afterwards, there will be plenty of time to work with the community and memorialize our beautiful child.
Shortly after Lucas was found, our family asked a friend to be our spokesperson and representative to the press and public. We were in a deep state of shock, and honestly did not know how to interact with anyone. While our world will never, ever be the same, we have come to realize that being a voice for our child is part of the healing process. We truly appreciate all the efforts that have been made to shield us in our grief. It gave us a few precious days to come to terms with the enormity of our loss. Jonathan and I are still reeling and learning how to live this new life without Lucas. We were never prepared to face this loss and we will probably make many mistakes as we go down what is sure to be a long, dark road. We just ask that you all be patient with us, give us time to grieve and help us ensure Lucas’ legacy is one filled with hope and kindness, not darkness and evil.
We have been out to Lucas’ site and removed some of the items. These include deflated balloons and most of the stuffed animals that were placed out near the bridge by the public. We would like everyone to know that we plan on leaving the rest of the items out at the site until June 24. On that day, we will collect nearly everything in order to display it at Lucas’ Memorial Service, which will be open to the public. We want to preserve and protect all the beautiful things so many left to honor our child. We will be making an announcement regarding Lucas’ services as soon as we finalize a few more details.
Thank you for your support,
Jamie Taylor-Orr and Jonathan Hernandez
Check back with CrimeOnline as we continue to provide coverage on the case of Lucas Hernandez.
[Feature Photo: Lucas Hernandez/ Handout]