Sybrina Fulton has been all over the United States fighting for justice for 17-year-old son Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, 28, on February 26. Taking “funeral leave, four weeks of accumulated sick leave and 60 hours of vacation” from her job with the Miami-Dade County Housing Authority where she’s worked for the last 23 years, Fulton was running out of options when co-workers jumped in to donate their hard-earned vacation time, so the fight for justice could continue uninterrupted.
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Last month the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a resolution sponsored by Bruno Barreiro, Barbara Jordan and Jose “Pepe” Diaz to allow county employees to donate vacation time to Fulton or Trayvon’s aunt, Yolanda Knight Evans, a water and sewer customer-service representative. The $50,000 cap the commission set on the value of the time donated was reached in two weeks, county spokeswoman Suzy Trutie said.
Records show 192 county employees gave Fulton some of their hours, and 70 people donated to Knight Evans.
The donations for Fulton added up to 1,362 hours — a total of 34 paid weeks off. Trayvon’s aunt collected nearly nine weeks.
Last week’s pay period was the first that tapped into the bank of donated time.
Fulton is expected to appear before the commission on Tuesday to thank the county for its support.
Records show the donors included deputy mayor Jack Osterholt, who gave her eight hours, and Stan Hills, the former head of the fire union.
By far the most generous contributor was county clerk’s office employee Eric Cherelus, who gave Trayvon’s mother and aunt each an entire week of his vacation time.
Fulton and Trayvon’s father, Tracey Martin, who is a truck driver, continue to work for the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation, and it is unclear when — or if — Fulton will return to her job.
As the wheels of justice slowly turn for this family, it’s nice to be reminded that there are good people out there, who are not only picketing and protesting, but literally putting their money where their mouth is.