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Mother of drowned toddlers explains fundraising effort

First Posted: 11:35 pm - August 1st, 2015

By Scott Witten - switten@civitasmedia.com



Contributed photo Sisters Kenlee Elizabeth Higgins, left, and Devyn Sue Higgins died last month in an accidental drowning near Wallace.
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LAURINBURG, N.C. — The mother of two young children who drowned July 24 in Marlboro County said there has been some confusion about a fundraising effort to help the family after the tragedy.

The Cheraw Chronicle reported July 30 that there is a GoFundMe campaign for the family of 2-year-old Kenlee Elizabeth Higgins and her sister, 1-year-old Devyn Sue Higgins, who drowned in a swimming pool in the Wallace community.

According to the campaign’s Web page, the goal is to raise $10,000 for the girls’ mother, Jacklyn Smith Higgins, and three older siblings, Holden Landen Higgins and Savannah.

“As you can imagine, money for extras doesn’t come easy, and funerals are costly. We’re asking for anyone who may feel it in their heart to help out, to please donate what you can,” the page reads.

But Higgins said last week that Richard Boles Funeral Services in Laurinburg helped cover much of the funeral costs. Services for the children were held July 27 at Northview Harvest Ministries.

“I’m afraid that it may have sounded like something that it was not,” Higgins said. “Boles Funeral Home was very generous and helped me out a great deal.”

Higgins said any money raised will be used to assist her and her children while she is on leave from her job.

“As a single mother, I need the help until I can go back to work,” she said. “Considering what has happened, I want to be with my other children as we try to deal with this.”

Higgins, who was at work at the time of the accident, said coping with the tragedy has been tough.

“I’m making it,” she said.

Still she is thankful for the donations that the campaign has generated. As of July 29, the effort had raised about $3,635.

“People have helped tremendously,” Higgins said. “We are very grateful.”

The toddlers’ deaths were ruled accidental on Monday by Marlboro County Coroner Tim Brown after an investigation assisted by the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division.

Reach Laurinburg Exchange Editor Scott Witten at 910-506-3023.

Contributed photo Sisters Kenlee Elizabeth Higgins, left, and Devyn Sue Higgins died last month in an accidental drowning near Wallace.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Higginsprint.jpgContributed photo Sisters Kenlee Elizabeth Higgins, left, and Devyn Sue Higgins died last month in an accidental drowning near Wallace.

By Scott Witten

switten@civitasmedia.com

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