MARION, Ind. - No parent should ever have to visit their child at an unmarked grave.
A mother in Grant County is spreading that message after her own tragic loss. Valeria Horton is giving more than just hope to other families who have lost a child. She’s helping families in her community pay for a memorial headstone, so no child is buried without one.
“Jayva was the light in every room. She was a blessing to everybody,” said Horton.
Horton’s living room is filled with memories of her daughter, Jayva.
“No parent is prepared to bury their child,” Horton said.
Horton told us the tragic story of how Jayva was killed in 2017. She was only four years old. She was on a little toy in the driveway playing like kids do, when another child got into her parents car and put it in reverse or neutral. Jayve was behind the vehicle as it rolled down the driveway, and it ran her over.
“Jayva was amazing to be around. She made you laugh when you were crying, if you cried she would come wipe your tears,” said Kylee Horton.
The thought of burying a child, is hard enough. But imagine, not knowing their place of rest.
“You’re not going out there and having to guess where they are at,” said Valeria Horton.
Through tragedy, Horton learned that a headstone is not included in the burial cost. Many parents are not prepared for the additional costs.
“It was still over $10,000, so I know that’s a lot for a person who’s unprepared for their child to pass. Then along you got to pay another $2,000-$3,000 for a headstone,” Horton said.
That’s when Jayva’s Love Foundation began. The Horton family is working to raise money to provide parents a memorial marker and a stand for their child’s place of rest.
“The most important thing to do as a parent is to make sure you take care of them, whether they’re living or if they’ve passed,” said Horton. “So, to make sure they have a marker is like your final thing for your child to say I have truly taken care of you.”
In honor of Jayva, their mission is no angel left unknown.
On Feb. 23, Jayva’s Love Foundation is hosting a winter ball. This a family event, to raise money to help other families pay for headstones.
Click here to visit Jayva’s Love Foundation website to learn more about donating and events.