KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The parents of a Kansas City murder victim are determined to turn their grief into something good.
Travon Jones was shot and killed in front of the McDonald’s at 31st and Van Brunt back in July. The suspect is now behind bars.
His family is now on a new mission to keep his memory alive and carry forward the good work he had started.
“Travon was my best friend,” said Tracy Jones.
Jones is still coming to grips with the loss of that friend, her son, Travon. Tracy got pregnant at 17 and said she and Trey grew up together.
“I was a troubled kid, and when I found out I was pregnant with him, he changed me for the better,” Jones said.
Trey had gotten into trouble himself, but this summer, came back to Kansas City and was turning his life around. But barely two months later, he was murdered.
When he hadn’t come home, his mom and stepdad filed a missing persons report and started searching for him.
“We got off the bus to ask people if they’d seen him or knew him, and one guy in particular grabbed my hand and looked at his picture and gave me the saddest look, and he’s the one that actually told me Travon was the one that got killed,” Jones said.
His mom described the 21-year-old as a goofy kid with a great big smile and even bigger heart, but she only learned the extent of his kindness after he died.
“I learned that everything I taught him, he was out here using to help homeless people,” Jones said.
Homeless people in the area shared Trey would use the little money he had to buy them meals at McDonald’s and offer anything he could to help. That’s why his parents are now starting Trey’s Angel Foundation, collecting items often needed by the homeless.
“I want his legacy to live on. Even though I’ll never be able to hold his grandbabies or see him get married. Even though I’ll never be able to see him do those things, I could continue to live on and make sure people know who he was,” Jones said.
She’s also hoping to raise funds to help other parents who lose kids to violence cover funeral costs.
Every time she grabs hold of her necklace, bearing Trey’s birthstone and ashes, she’s motivated to press on.
“I know he’s smiling down on me like, ‘Thanks mom for continuing to let people know who I am,'” Jones said.
The Jones family is filing formal paperwork to be certified as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. In the mean time, they’re also working to get designated drop-off sites for clothing and blanket donations. There’s also a GoFundMe site and a Facebook page where you can learn more.