(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) KQ2's Pay it Forward concludes with a special Thanksgiving surprise.
Jaime Johnson, a mom of six, was gifted $500 after being nominated by her niece Samantha Myers.
“I just wanted her to know that everything she’s doing in remembrance of him is not going unnoticed," said Samantha Myers, Jaime's niece.
When Samantha says "him", she is referring to her cousin, Jaime Johnson’s son, Charron McDaniel II.
In late January, the Johnson family faced a tragedy that is becoming all too familiar. Charron McDaniel II committed suicide on the 28th of January. He was only 16.
During the spring, KQ2 did a special report on those who have lost a loved one to suicide, Jaime and her daughters being one of the families to share their story.
As time has passed, Jaime's goal has shifted to helping others, especially teens who are dealing with depression and mental health. She does not want any mother, sibling, parent or friend to have to go through what she did in January.
“My goal this year has really been to turn my pain into purpose," Jaime said.
Since March, Johnson has started monthly mental health check-in talks where teens meet with her at a given location for the day as they share their struggles. Johnson providing love and support to those who attend.
“The girls who show up, they were close to my son–or they have—they have had suicidal thoughts, or have had trouble just dealing with their own depression and getting help," said Johnson. "We just kind of talk about it. What works, what doesn’t work, what are they doing differently and how are they taking care of themselves so they don’t fall into those dark places.”
Jaime's niece Samantha said she just wants to let her aunt know that she is loved during this difficult time. Adding, all that she has done since Charron died is not going unnoticed.
“It’s heart-breaking and it’s also amazing at the same time," said Samantha. "She is such a wonderful person. She’d give the shirt off her back if she could to anybody who was in need.”
Samantha said her aunt is the glue to the family, saying each week Jaime hosts Sunday dinners where family, friends, the teens and anyone in the community is welcome to join.
Jaime added she is also having an open-door Thanksgiving where all are welcome.
“This year is the first–all of the first holiday’s without him, so I just want her to know that we’re thinking of her and we love her and everything we know is not unnoticed," Samantha said.
"I could not do it without the support of my family, my friends and the community," Johnson added.
The suicide awareness talks take place on the last Thursday of every month. Information is posted on Jaime's Facebook page.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.