Birmingham is a city in mourning today. We learned last night that the remains of Kamille McKinney, who was affectionately known as Cupcake, have been found. As a parent, it is hard to imagine the pain the family must be feeling. They are not alone in their grief–we are all hurting for them today.
Cupcake’s life was ended too soon by a senseless act. A beautiful three-year-old girl was taken from her family for reasons we do not know and will never understand. What we can do now is honor her precious life and those who worked tirelessly to find her.
So many people volunteered to help bring this baby girl home and support the search. Thank you to all state, local and federal agencies involved, including the Birmingham Police Department, FBI, Birmingham Fire and Rescue, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (among others), the restaurants who donated food, More Than Conquerors Faith Church, who held a Cupcakes for Cupcake fundraiser, and the numerous volunteers who worked for 10 days and hoped, as we all did, for a different outcome.
Those affected by this tragedy can find support in Birmingham at the places below.
- Saint James AME Church in North Avondale will be open at 12:00 p.m. and the sanctuary at Beloved Community Church will be open from 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m. today (Wednesday, October 23) for quiet reflection and community support.
- The Amelia Center at Children’s of Alabama offers counseling for children coping with the loss of a parent as well as parents coping with the loss of a child. Their phone number is 205-638-7481.
- Community Grief Support has grief support programs and counseling for adults in the Birmingham area. Their phone number is 205-870-8667.
- The Crisis Center offers crisis support. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and speak with a counselor.
A vigil for Cupcake will be held this afternoon, October 23, at Linn Park at 4PM.
While more events to honor Cupcake will likely be announced in the coming days, let’s all take some time to think about Cupcake and her family today, and honor her life by holding our loved ones close and not taking them for granted. Cupcake, you are loved and missed.
“But tonight, right now, at this moment, I ask one thing of this community. Not to take sides. Not to finger-point. I ask every member of the 99 neighborhoods that makes up our city to stand in solidarity beside this broken family. Now, more than ever, this family needs us.”Mayor Randall Woodfin