Charity organization feels loss after woman killed at gas station
The family of a 65-year-old Jones County woman who was shot to death Tuesday, say they want people to donate to the woman's favorite charity instead of bringing flowers to the funeral.
Linda Hunnicutt of east Macon died after allegedly being shot by a 73-year-old electric wheelchair bound man at a gas station on Gray Highway. Police say the man shot her after hitting her car with his wheelchair.
Hunnicutt had been involved in a number of different charities for children over the years, but lately she had become very involved in Jay's Hope Foundation. Jay's Hope helps support children battling cancer and their families.
Jay's Hope Founder and Executive Director Cindy Gaskins prepared for the organization's annual Christmas party Thursday, knowing this year the event will go on without one its more involved donors.
"I know that Miss Linda had a heart for children, and a heart for children battling cancer," Gaskins said.
Gaskins says Hunnicutt and her daughter Kim Butler have been sponsoring children in the Jay's Hope Foundation for at least five years. While this year Hunnicutt had already bought the items on her Jay's Hope children's Christmas wish list, she wasn't able to personally deliver the items to the organization.
"We were just very saddened, by this news and heartbroken ... And grateful for the support that this family has given us and continues to give to Jay's Hope," Gaskins said.
Gaskins says donating isn't the only way the Hunnicutt family has helped the organization. She says many of Hunnicutt's grandchildren attend First Presbyterian Day School in Macon, where they helped organize a fundraiser called Hats for Hope.
"That's what it takes, is to have a heart for our mission. I call it being bitten by the Jay's Hope bug, and you want to get on board and love on these families and support them and give them hope in their time of need," Gaskins said.
While Gaskins knows Linda Hunnicutt is gone, she says she's thankful for the support over the years, and hopeful others will be inspired by Hunnicutt's story and continue to help children in need.
"We are thankful that the family is wanting to continue to support Jay's Hope in their mother and grandmother's memory, and know that Linda is looking down and is proud of her family and their love for these children battling cancer," Gaskins said.