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South Bend father gives out school supplies in memory of slain daughter

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A South Bend father motivated a community to donate hundreds of school supplies to neighborhood children in the name of his late daughter.

Tyson Crawford passed out more than a 100 backpacks and hundreds of school supplies at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Center on Linden Road.

“Everything is free, y’all don’t have to ask me,” he told children on Saturday. “Y’all can have whatever y’all want.”

Each student thanked him for the backpacks and supplies, but he said to thank his daughter who inspired him to put the donation drive together. Tysiona Crawford, 17, was his daughter, who was killed in January.

“She’d be proud of me,” he said. “This is what she wanted me to do, so I’m just trying to fulfill her dream and it’s kind of hard for me right now, I miss her a lot.”

Crawford was shot by Rahim Brumfield, who was her ex-boyfriend, according to neighbors. Police said he threatened her phsyically and would use Facebook messenger to send death threats.

Her father said the donation drive was put together to honor her memory and send a message to women in the community.

“Be honest with your parents, you can get sidetracked trying to mess with these boys,” Crawford said. “The young girls messing with the boys throw them off their career and goals and all that stuff, so never settle for less is always strive for greatness.”

At the donation drive, there was a bounce house, food, a DJ, and even a music video shoot for a song written for Crawford’s daughter. Family and friends help up cups with ‘Tysiona Ona World’ written on them.

“This is Tysiona’s world,” a lyric recited by the local rapper and a friend of Crawford.

Yvonne Fountain, who attended the drive, said her daughter Kissy was murdered in 2006. She said she knows what the family is going through and is proud to see Crawford rise for the community.

“He’s moving forward,” she said. “He’s trying do something to show people his love for his daughter, and the best way to show love is giving.”

Tyler Brown will be a 7th grader at LaSalle Academy he said he plans to get all A’s in the next school year and excel on the basketball court. He also said he’s thankful for Crawford because the backpack and school supplies saves his parents money.

“I’m going to use it for school and put all my supplies in here,” Brown said.

Crawford said he was raised in the community and has respect for it,  while they respect his family. He said for that reason it was easy to collect the supplies in honor of his daughter, Tysiona.

“It’s so much, I just want people to know just remember my daughter’s name, see the giving part that we’re doing,” he said. “How a guy can get the community to come together for a good cause and no drama.”

 

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