Lessons from Kamille Cupcake McKinney’s Life
Birmingham, Alabama resident three year old Kamille Cupcake McKinney, who was missing for ten days after she was abducted from a birthday party, was found deceased in a dumpster in a local landfill. Birmingham, Alabama was hurt and shocked by the horrifying news.
Many people had rallied around Kamille’s story hoping for a positive outcome. The tragic event even made national news, but the result wasn’t what any of us collectively hoped for. While Cupcake should be anxiously awaiting all the fun events that happen in Birmingham for Halloween, instead the sweet child’s remains are in an empty grave.
Many people openly cried and took to social media to express their sorrow. Her memorial service was streamed online, and the outpouring of donations helped her casket be carried by a white horse drawn carriage to her final resting place.
During the Magic City Classic parade, there was a tribute float for the slain child, and during the Classic festivities many residents took to wearing purple clothes and ribbons in remembrance of Cupcake as her favorite color was purple
The tragedy of this senseless murder shouldn’t be forgotten and I believe there are lessons to be learned from this horrendous homicide. Below are the lessons I believe Cupcake’s life left behind for us to share.
Watch your Children Closely– When Cupcake was abducted she was outside of a local housing project playing with children unattended by adults. Though it is tempting to allow children to play freely outside unsupervised, this is something that can not be done in this sector of history. Since the disappearance of Cupcake, there have been many other children reported abducted and missing nationwide.
Please make sure that your child is supervised at all times- in shopping malls, parks, and even outside your own home-by a trusted adult. If children must walk home from school, try to work together with trusted parents in the community to produce a guardian to walk groups of children home safely.
Have the “No Candy from Strangers Talk”- Many reports indicate that McKinney was lured into the strangers’ who abducted her vehicle because the suspect claimed that he had candy in his van. I know this is an old conversation, but do not take it lightly. Especially with Halloween on the way, make sure that children are attended by an adult while trick or treating. Also, make children are aware that candy should not be accepted from strangers outside of this particular day.
When I was growing up in the 90’s many children were being lured by candy to be kidnapped. My mother decided to make candy readily available to us so that we would not be fascinated by it. Take my mother’s advice and keep candy bowls around your home filled with fun size snacks, candy bars, suckers, and any other candy your child might be interested in. Children are less apt to be lured by candy/snacks when they are familiar with seeing it and having it at home. Also know that many other kidnappers lure children with video games, toys, computers, puppies, and kittens. Please tell your child to never talk to strangers and never follow them to see or do anything unless you are monitoring them and they have your permission
Take Care of the Children in your Community, Now- At Cupcake’s funeral, many kind residents and companies donated stuffed animals, a beautiful dress, and flowers. Her body was carried around town in a horse drawn carriage like a princess, but why do we not do these things for living children? No one was wrong in donating, these acts were heartfelt and beautiful. However, I wonder how differently lots of area children’s lives would be if they received carriage rides, fancy dresses, and toys while they are living. We should love the children now and not wait for a death or a huge news story to spoil the children in our community.
If cupcake had have gotten an opportunity by a safe area outreach program to ride in a carriage, receive flowers, wear a pretty princess dress, and receive a special toy while she was living, she might have not been impressed by candy from an old SUV. Let’s not wait until tragedy strikes to care. Let’s think of some fun and safe ways to uplift every little boy and girl we can locally and worldwide, if possible, before their demise.
There is Good in World– I know an area man who posted on Facebook everyday that Cupcake was missing that he would be willing to pick her up from any location without asking questions so she could return home safely. I know many people who tied purple ribbon around their communities to let others know that the child was missing and that they were in support of her family and friends. I know people who donated money and time to find the missing child. I know groups who formed search parties and looked for Cupcake day and night.
The stories I can tell of good deeds and fervent prayers could go on and on. Please don’t let this incident discourage you from realizing that there are some very good people in the world. The news is so bleak, that it is easy to believe the world is a very cruel and dark place. Yes, sometimes it is. I can not believe that I live in a world were a toddler could be killed and thrown away like trash, but at the same time, there is good still among us. There is good in this world that we must fight for and protect at all costs.
We are a Community– This incident reminded us that we are a strong community and we must stick together. Not just in tragedy, but always. If you see a child alone outside, silently keep an eye on them until they are home safe. If you see a child who could use a pick me up, buy them a special treat. Instead of locking your doors this Halloween, through on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, buy five or six bags of candy from the Dollar Tree, make a homemade costume, open your doors, turn on the lights, and be a safe place for kids to receive free candy. Let us stick together year round to ensure that nothing like this happens again to any child.
Remember- This crime can not before forgotten. Let us not blot this away from out collective memory, because it hurts too much. Let us find ways to remember this little life by seeing everyone and every child as Cupcake. Let us protect, love feed, and provide for people in the name of this child’s life.
Though she only lived on this plane for three short years, her life lesson was more valuable than many who have lived twenty times her age. Let her life be a lesson in treating everyone well and with respect. Most importantly, let us work together to protect our children at all costs.
Continual prayers to Kamille Cupcake McKinney’s family during this very difficult season.