By Candice Brown, Mother of Justin Brown
Mother Honors Slain Son with Donations to Charleston Animal Society
For the past six years, I have honored my deceased son’s memory by hosting a fundraiser for the animals of Charleston Animal Society. I named the fundraiser Justin’s Angels, after my son Justin who loved, respected, and rescued animals. I chose Charleston Animal Society as the recipient because of their No Kill policy, because of the wonderful care animals get there, and because my son and I used to volunteer there by walking and playing with the dogs when he was a child. The “Angels” in Justin’s Angels is two-fold: it refers to those who donate and support our fundraiser and also refers to the animals who benefit from it.
Justin was my only child and was truly an amazing boy and young man. He was an honor student all through school and college, was a gifted guitarist and skilled athlete, and his smile and charismatic personality won him many friends all his life. He also helped others in need – whether 2-legged or 4 – whenever he saw the chance because he had a huge heart. He was even a local celebrity as a child when he won a talent show and became Fox 24 Kids Club’s CEO. This landed him starring roles in numerous TV and radio commercials, the opportunity to host the Kids World events at the Galliard Auditorium and later the North Charleston Coliseum, and also to make many public appearances around the Lowcountry representing Fox. Unfortunately, Justin’s life was cut short on April 29, 2002, at the age of 19 when he was killed during a home invasion robbery at his off-campus apartment, just months before his graduation. I have found that by carrying on his legacy of helping others, it has helped in my healing.
This year, Justin’s Angels raised a total of $4,072, combining cash and donated pet foods, snacks, etc. ($3,456 in cash, $616 in food, treats, and pet supplies). I received checks in the mail from friends and relatives in 11 states and also at our Justin’s Angels booth at Holiday Open House at Legare Farms, where we sold homemade gift items for people and pets and also accepted donations. We also received many donations of pet foods and supplies from students and staff of Stiles Point Elementary, where I taught for 24 years. This was our second highest total in six years! It’s a wonderful way to honor Justin’s birthday (December 5th) and to help the animals at Charleston Animal Society!
Candice, along with friends, presented the donation to Charleston Animal Society on behalf of Justin’s Angels on December 21, 2017.