CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - While authorities are still investigating the deadly car crash that took the life of 13-year-old Tamia Chappman, kids who knew her are still helping their community today.
Members of the East Cleveland PAL Mentoring program spent the day handing blankets to those in need in Downtown Cleveland.
“Some of our kids knew Tamia or went to school with her,” Vanessa Veals-Marshall, an organizer for the event, said. “To do something that’s more uplifting today, I think will help them through the grief.”
The group of kids met up at the East Cleveland Police station and proceeded to visit several sites downtown where people lack the proper protection from the cold and wind from Lake Erie.
East Cleveland Captain of Police School Scott Gardner explained the task was difficult, considering how Tamia was about to receive a special surprise from her own community.
“We do a Christmas drive every year where we have select families that we give presents to, and [Tamia] was actually on the list to get a present today,” he said.
Even during this difficult time, Veals-Marshall presents a message of hope for the members of her program.
“As they get older, they may go through trials and tribulations,” Veals-Marshall explained. “And someone can be there for them.”
Sixth-grader Tamia was killed Friday afternoon after a high-speed chase through East Cleveland.
The pursuit started in Cleveland after an armed 15-year-old boy carjacked a woman at the Target located at West 117th Street, and it ended with the fatal crash at Euclid and Lakefront avenues, according to Cleveland Police.
“I don’t want to comment too much,” Captain Gardner said. “This is obviously still under investigation.”