Neville-Lake family launches charity to help children dealing with trauma
An organization founded by a mother who lost her three children and her father in a drunk driving accident has already raised more than $20,000 to help children dealing with traumatic experiences.
‘Many Hands, Doing Good’ is a not-for-profit organization with the aim of raising money for music and art therapy to help children suffering from the effects of trauma. The organization is inspired by Jennifer Neville-Lake, whose three children -- Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5, and Milagros, 2 -- and whose 65-year-old father Gary Neville, were killed on Sept. 27, 2015.
“Her vision after the horrible tragedy that she went through was basically to honour her children through funding for art and music therapy,” Andy Pattenden, board member of ‘Many Hands, Doing Good’, told CTV News Toronto. “Those were the passions of her kids. They were in to music. They were into art. They were into dance. “
Pattenden told CTV News Toronto at the launch of the not-for-profit on Tuesday that the charity will connect children with the support programs they need to heal.
“Jennifer herself used to work with children helping them rehabilitate,” he said. “She knows very well the value of it.”
The foundation will also help provide students studying broadcasting in college with financial aid. This aspect of the charity will honour Gary Neville’s love of music and his dream of becoming a DJ.
York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe also spoke at the launch. The force conducted a summer-long campaign cracking down on impaired driving following the deadly collision. The campaign, titled ‘Not One More’, used drawings from kids showing how sad they were after a friend of theirs was hurt or killed by a drunk driver.
The images were distributed on post cards and on social media.
“The horrific events of Sept. 27 that claimed the lives of Daniel, Harry and Milagros is one I will never forget, nor will any of the officers of York region,” Jolliffe said at the launch. “It is a testament to her love and her children that she has been able to build this foundation.”
Jolliffe said that York region’s victims services will be partnering with ‘Many Hands, Doing Good’.
“We worry that parents may not be aware of the support currently available or if they are, they are not able to pay for the programs. That is why we are so proud to support Jennifer’s foundation.”
Neville-Lake was scheduled to read a statement at the launch, but was overcome with emotion and had to leave the area.
“It’s really tough for her,” Pattenden said. “She has this amazing vision and passion to help, but right now she still struggles to be around children.