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Turning Tragedy into Toys - KOAM TV 7

Turning Tragedy into Toys

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SOUTHWEST, MISSOURI -

On January 16th, Brandy Corum's ex husband, Tony Kernel, murdered their 9-year old son Wesley,  7-year old daughter Timber, then killed himself. 

Corum's Christmas included a trip to a graveyard. 

"You never get over it," Corum said, "It never goes away."

She started working part-time at JJ's Woodfire Pizza in September. She says it's helped serve as a distraction. It's also served as a source of support; allowing children's books, toys, and stuffed animals to slowly fill the restaurant.

"Push comes to shove and we all come together and we stick together," Corum's co-worker Sharon Burns said. 

Corum is using the anniversary of her children's death to assist children who need help. JJ's is holding a book and toy drive for the Children's Haven and Children's Center in Joplin in memory of Wesley and Timber. 

"Doing something positive instead of doing something negative. Which a lot of people that have lost children do that," Burns said. 

"Some of the books that have come in are some that I've read to the kids before," Corum said. "There's some toys that Wes would've liked."

For her co-workers at JJ's, the drive is a chance to act as a surrogate family in a time Corum needs them most. For Corum, it's a chance to remember her children, not the tragedy, while repaying those who've surrounded her. 

"There's always gonna be that thought, that, yeah, they were murdered by their dad. But I don't want that to be the thought that people think of them," Corum said. "My kids loved to help, they helped other kids in their school. And I want to pay that forward, I want to pass on what the community did with me, for me." 

"I want people to see that no matter what life throws at you, there's always something good that can come out of it."

The drop-off locations for toys and books are JJ's Woodfire Pizza in Webb City and The Carthage Press office in Carthage.

Donations are being accepted through January 15th. 

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