Lufkin mom starts ‘pay it forward’ campaign in honor of deceased son

Lufkin mom starts ‘pay it forward’ campaign in honor of deceased son
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Evan's twin sister,Elliott (Source: KTRE Staff)
Evan's twin sister,Elliott (Source: KTRE Staff)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After losing one of her children an East Texas mom decided to turn her pain into a campaign for hope.

"Anniversary's do nothing but remind you of kind of what has past and maybe where he would've been at this stage or what age," Mother behind #HonoringEvan, Jennifer Winston said.

Jennifer gave birth to two premature twins named Evan and Elliott. The excitement of being a new mother took a turn for the worst shortly after.

"Probably the biggest slap in the face with Evan passing is that I wasn't ready for it," Jennifer said.

Evan's death is something that she still can't get over.

"I wish I could wake up and things be different but I can't," Jennifer said.

Instead of drowning in her own pain, she decided to use his story to spread a message. Each year on Evan and Elliott's birthday Jennifer decides to pay it forward.

"I feel like sometimes this little thing gives me a purpose," Jennifer said. "It feels really silly to say you bought someone a cup of coffee but, it's just doing something nice for another human being and seeing that people care."

This year Elliott's class painted crosses with a little message on them.
"It helps other people feel happy," Elliott said. "If they're in a bad mood you can just cheer them up, maybe with a little hug or buying their coffee."

"This thing has gotten bigger than I expected, probably because I have so many good friends," Jennifer said. "It's more than just a little boy, it's a community showing they care."

For this mom she note's her strength to her baby girl.

"I've told her a hundred times she saved my life, and it's true," Jennifer said.

"I sometimes like to hug her and tell her it's ok, and that he'll always be in her memory," Elliott said.

Although Elliott misses her twin brother she knows her mother' #HonoringEvan campaign would make him proud.

"I think he would feel great that people are honoring him, even though not everybody knows him, they at least still care," Elliott said.

"Probably if I didn't do this, I'd sit at home and I'd cry, and it's not fair to her, she didn't ask for it," Jennifer said fighting back tears. "She didn't ask for me to be broken, but that's what she got. I guess it's a way to make it through the day."

Elliott said if she could tell her brother one thing it would be that she loved him.

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