Our Angel Has Landed!
The plane arrived in Honduras this afternoon and Angel's body was released to his mother so that she can finally lay him to rest. THANK YOU, to everyone who helped make this happen! I was there to say a final farewell to Angel as Rutherford Funeral Home took great care in preparing his casket for flight. Three weeks after he left this world he still looks beautiful...heavenly, even. This child was loved, and the grief is deep. How does this family move on? How do we say goodbye to an Angel? I don't think we can, so instead let's say Goodnight. We will see you again, little one!
And now we swallow hard, and turn the page, because this story isn't over. There is a terrible injustice that's been done to a good man. A man whose pastor says when it comes to fatherhood, he set the very best example. Over 200 people came to Angel's funeral, and by all accounts he was a polite, well mannered little boy with a great Dad who dearly loved him. Natividad de Jesus Hernandez is not who he's been portrayed as by his accusers. His girlfriend, Cristina, tells me that he has a gentle spirit and has showed her a kindness she's never known before; it's changed her life. Her children call him "Daddy" and miss him terribly.
There are many things about this case that I can't discuss. What I can say, is that the police left Natividad alone at the scene of this horrific accident; a broken man unable to even get up off his knees after his child had been taken from his arms. And then shortly after learning at the hospital that his only child had died...that he was no longer a father...the police put him in jail for fleeing the scene of the accident. After two weeks of near isolation, with no grief counselors, no one to even talk to who speaks Spanish, things went from bad to worse. His indictment was for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide among other felonies. How does this happen? It happens when someone is unfairly judged because of their ethnicity. I know that many people have strong feelings about immigration and won't be able to see past that issue. But this isn't just about immigration; it's about a family that's been torn apart in their darkest hour.
Natividad has lived in the US for almost 12 years, since he was 18. He's a good man who pays his taxes, provides for his family, and has never been in trouble. But he is also an undocumented immigrant. This means that aside from the felony charges from the death of his child, he is facing the possibility of being deported back to El Salvador. There are immigration experts who feel there's a good chance Natividad's issues can be resolved. He also has two outstanding attorneys who believe in him and have been very generous. But despite their generosity, there are some hard costs he needs help with for a fair fight against his accusers.
I've come to know this family and the people who love them, and I tell you - this is a travesty! One that I can't bear to watch wreak havoc from the sidelines. So I'm asking you to dig deep; to question everything you've heard about this story and trust me. Help me. Make a donation today so that Natividad can have a fair chance in the fight against these false charges, and please share this page with your networks! Help me reunite this family so they can begin to heal from this unimaginable tragedy.
4 year old Angel Hernandez died in a tragic car accident on 12/26/13 in Central Ohio when his father, Natividad de Jesus Hernandez accidentally ran over his tiny body in the minivan he was driving. Within hours of the accident, this father was arrested is father is left devastated, and his mother's empty arms long to bring her child's earthly body home to her in Honduras. The cost to fly Angel's body home and hold a proper burial is far more than the family can bear. Angel's body is temporarily being held in an Ohio funeral home, but now that our goal has been reached, preparations will begin to send him home to his mother so that she can lay him to rest. Please continue to contribute to this fund! Any surplus donations will go directly to Angel's family. There are many physical needs, not to mention the emotional needs of the two children who were in the vehicle. They not only witnessed Angel's traumatic accident, but also the unfair treatment and arrest of Angel's father. They are undoubtedly traumatized; too young to understand, but too old to forget all that they have seen.
"The Manger" is a local outreach ministry that I began in 2008 which operates seasonally each year to assist low income parents in providing Christmas gifts for their children. In working with those families, I uncover some extremely challenging circumstances...but nothing quite like this. Reading about this tragedy and grasping all that the Hernandez family is facing took my breath away. This is a family in crisis! Their need is great and ongoing and impossible for them to overcome without our help. Will you donate TODAY so that we can get Angel home quickly to his mother and help with other immediate needs? Please help me spread the word by sharing this page with your email lists and social networks! Let's bring some peace to the aching hearts of these parents.
Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye