Community rallies together to raise money, awareness in wake of baby Emma's death

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- With each honk and with every donation, dozens of volunteers worked to empower a family and a community Sunday.

"We're just try to get the awareness out there," said Ashton Baker.

Baker helped organize a car wash fundraiser in the parking lot of the Autozone on N. West St. The hope was to bring the issue of child abuse to the forefront while also raising money for the family of baby Emma, who passed away earlier this week from apparent severe child abuse.

"We're trying to get everyone to appreciate what you have because you never know when it can go," Baker said.

That's something Baker says she knows firsthand.

Her cousin passed away last year from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and is now memorialized in a tattoo on her arm.

"It kind of really hits close to home," Baker said.

Baker is a friend of baby Emma's family and she says she knew she had to help by planning the fundraiser.

"I feel that was the least I could do in paying it forward because I know the pain of losing someone so young," Baker said.

Alongside Baker, and other family and friends, were members of the organization Bikers Against Child Abuse.

They too were moved by Emma's story and inspired to help.

"She is such a beautiful little girl and it's just so senseless that this has to happen," said one of the members who goes by the name "Turtle." "Hopefully, we can all come together as a community and do anything we can to stop this from happening to another child."

The bikers held signs and encouraged drivers to head into the Autozone parking lot, while family and friends washed down the cars.

The bikers say many people put wads of cash into a plastic bucket as they drove out.

"People are very generous and they want to help in the ways that they can," Turtle said.

Whether that was with a cash donation or with just a quick honk, their contributions meant the world to those volunteering at the car wash.

After all, so many of them are like Baker and know firsthand, every little bit helps at a difficult time like this.

"It's not about anything else but raising support and awareness," Baker said.

To donate to baby Emma's family to help with funeral expenses, Click here

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