Being memorialized is Alyssa Ruth Cooper, 15, who was killed in a traffic accident Saturday evening. Being remembered is her sister, Leslie Cooper, 19, who was seriously injured in the same accident and is at UAB Hospital in Birmingham. The accident claimed the life of their mother, Sheila Cooper, 43.
Now the Ohatchee community is coming together to collect money to help Leslie Cooper and her grandmother pay the expenses associated with burials and other necessities. As of Thursday morning community fundraisers, church collections and individual donations had raised about $10,500 for the family.
Funeral services for Sheila and Alyssa Ruth Cooper will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Miller Funeral Home in Oxford. Burial will follow at Plum Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Lincoln.
Monday after the accident, students met in teacher Heather Almaroad’s class to brainstorm about how to raise money. Ever since, students such as Jaylaan Parker, a junior, have been doing everything they can toward that goal. Parker began cutting up ribbons in green and purple to sell for 50 cents each. Students will be selling the ribbons at the school’s annual key club craft fair Saturday.
“I just want people to know that every little bit helps,” Parker said.
Students are also having T-shirts printed and selling bracelets to collect money for the family.
The funds are going to an account that was set up for the family at Noble Bank.
Funeral expenses aren’t the only costs the surviving daughter and her grandmother will have to contend with. The family lost its only vehicle in the accident and Leslie, a senior, will soon have to deal with graduation expenses.
The high school principal, Robin Kines, said she was unsure how much money Leslie will owe for her medical expenses but said the family had Medicaid and All Kids. She suffered a broken arm, a broken hand, internal injuries and a dislocated hip in the accident.
Students have also been giving generous donations from their own pockets. At the Monday meeting, they raised money and Almaroad said she’s been seeing students give $20 bills for the cause.
“These are kids that don’t have a lot themselves, but they want to help,” Almaroad said.
To donate: Give to the Cooper Fund at Noble Bank. The main office is in Anniston and there’s a branch in Alexandria.
Staff writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @ LJohnson_Star.