Less than a week after 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle was abducted and killed in Jacksonville, her family is preparing to say their final goodbyes.
A viewing for Cherish will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Paxon Revival Center Church on Commonwealth Avenue. Funeral Services will also be held at the church at 2 p.m. Friday.
She'll be buried at Riverside Memorial Park on Normandy Boulevard on the Westside.
Hardage-Giddens Town and Country Funeral Home is donating the funeral services and the cemetery plot to Cherish's family, including the casket and headstone.
When Cherish was abducted and found dead, the whole community wept. Most didn't know the girl, but so many wanted to help. Police are continuing their investigation, but in the meantime, she has to be buried.
"Here at the church, we're ready to celebrate her life," said Pastor Steve Dobbs, of Paxon Revival Center Church.
Dobbs will be leading the prayer services.
"I know it's been a bad time for Jacksonville, and all of us, we've been crying," he said. "I've cried my tears and my kids and grandkids and family and people and all the little kids in the church that's going to miss her, but we want to celebrate her life here, and it's going to be a great time."
Local businesses and organizations are playing a big role in the final goodbye.
"We're affected by anything that happens in this community and this affected our community in a very profound way, and it affected the people of our staff also," said Roger Delaney, of Hardage-Giddens Town and Country.
Because the funeral home has decided to cover the costs for Cherish's viewing and funeral, it's one less thing her grieving family has to worry about.
"So we want to relieve some of that burden for them," Delaney said.
He said it's the least they can do during such a tragic time.
"We want to be a part of the community and show that, yes, there are a lot of good people," Delaney said. "And this is one case of a bad person, but we have a lot of good people in this city."
If you want to help out with the funeral services, you're asked to call the Justice Coalition at 904-783-6312.