After her sister died on Christmas Eve, Sask. woman takes in her 6 children
SASKATOON -- A GoFundMe page is raising money to help support six children whose mother died on Christmas Eve.
Cheryl Kay, 36, died in Regina. She had low electrolytes and had slipped into a coma, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her sister, Rachel Smith.
Since then, Smith has taken in the children, ranging from ages two to 17-years-old.
The money raised so far has helped Smith buy necessities such as diapers, groceries, clothing, birthday gifts and more. But as the family has doubled, it’s still not enough.
“Right now we need (three) bunk beds, we need blankets, we need towels, we need cups, we need cutlery, we need basically everything,” Smith says.
Having already lost her sister, Smith says she’s up for the challenge of being the children’s caretaker, describing only slightly longer evenings. Smith is also the owner of Bannock Express, an Indigenous restaurant.
She has the staff and community support behind her, she said.
“Even today I’ve had a business reach out and offer me a year’s family pass at the leisure centre,” Smith says.
Her children describe their mother as a creative by staying in touch with her Indigenous roots – beading jewelry and performing at pow wows.
“We haven’t had that connection since she left us, she was kind of like the glue you know,” Kay’s daughter Tyrra said.
At the time of publication, the GoFundMe page has raised more than $6,000 of its $10,000 goal.
Another goal for the family is to keep the children together under one roof until Tyrra reaches 18-years-old.
“We don’t want to split up, that’s what my mom wanted.”