Clothing drive tribute for slain teacher's students - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Clothing drive tribute for slain teacher's students

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Services to honor the life of kindergarten teacher Heather Palumbo-Jones of Germantown will be held Sunday afternoon.

The services will start at 3 p.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, 700 Poplar Ave., in Memphis.

The family is asking in lieu of flowers that donations be made at any Regions Bank location to The Connor and Ava Jones Charity Fund or the donations can be mailed to Regions Bank Germantown-Poplar Branch, 7744 Poplar Ave., Germantown, Tenn., 38138.

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There will also be a school uniform clothing collection to benefit the children of Frayser Achievement School where Palumbo-Jones dedicated so much of her love and energy to her kindergarten students. The items requested are khaki, navy blue or black pants and white, gold or dark green polo shirts in all children's sizes.

"As we grieve the loss of our daughter, sister, friend, and mother, we are amazed by the love and support of so many individuals. Heather was a woman full of love and light, and her impact is profoundly felt through the many lives she touched," a family statement said. "Thanks to the Germantown Police for their tireless dedication as well as their relentless pursuit to find our beloved Heather. We appreciate all of the people who have shown the family so much love and kindness during this very difficult time."

Parents of Palumbo-Jones' kindergarten students describe her as an enthusiastic and hardworking teacher. In the midst of this tragedy, some say her family's effort to give back is an example of who Palumbo-Jones was.

"I miss her kisses and I miss everything she do for us," said Brianna McWilliams, former student.

Brianna understands she won't see her kindergarten teacher again, but struggles with the reason behind it.

"It's hard. I just tell her she's gone and not coming back," said Jessica McWilliams, mother.

Palumbo-Jones' body was found late Tuesday evening on Highway 64 and Collierville-Arlinton Road after police say she was killed by her estranged husband.

Those within the Frayser Achievement School community find pieces of comfort in her memory.

"She was really energetic, fast, just fast," said James Bailey, grandparent. "Children loved her, teachers loved her too. Matter of fact I really cared about her too. She filled a very important job for the children."

"I got attached to her as my daughter's teacher," Jessica McWilliams added. "When my daughter first started coming to Frayser she wasn't on the academic level she was supposed to be on, and Ms. Jones worked so hard with her."

Her family is asking for your help to give back to the school Palumbo-Jones loved. They plan to hold a school uniform clothing collection.

"I think it's a very beautiful thing doing this for her," Bailey said. "I think should be more, if we could just thank the Lord for her the way treating her students."

"There are some parents out of work and sometimes uniforms are hard to come by," said Donnethia stone, a Frayser Achievement School parent.

"Some need a bigger size, some don't have a belt, added Tanzia Hayes, grandparent of a Palumbo-Jones student. "Be a good thing for the schools for the kids too kind of, they need that right now with a tragedy like that."

While Palumbo-Jones will be absent at her kindergarten class' graduation, some say she will always be present.

"I told her she's in heaven now," Stone said.


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