Parents of Ebby Steppach hold fundraiser for PATH on Steppach's 21st birthday
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) —
Michael and Laurie Jernigan say March 31st brings a mixture of emotions.
"You know, it's a special day," Michael said.
"It's a bittersweet day," Laurie said.
Because March 31st is their daughter, Ebby Steppach's, birthday, she would have celebrated her 21st birthday with her mom and stepdad.
But in October of 2015, she went missing, and still hasn't been found.
"I don't even know how we got through it now, three years ago,” Laurie said. “I really, I don't know how we got through it."
But through faith they've persevered and have now decided to partner up with Parents Against Trafficking Humans, or PATH, for Ebby.
"I decided to do this not as a celebration of Ebby's birthday but as an honoring of her birthday," Laurie said.
Every dollar that the people buying balloons, shirts, or desserts spend, goes directly to path, who provides services for survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault.
"I don't know where Ebby is I don't know where she is or who took her and I don't know what situation she's in but path is what I came across," Laurie said.
"For someone to be going through what she's going through, I can't even imagine as a mother to be able to do this for someone else on this day," Casonia Vinson, community awareness educator for PATH, said.
Laurie says, if Ebby were here and knew about what PATH does, "She would be right front and center and she would dedicate her life to it," she said.
Something her parents have decided to do, while continuing the search for Ebby.
"We love her. We love you Ebby. We want you to come home," said Michael.
"We'll never forget her and we'll never stop looking," said Laurie.
Following this fundraiser, the family held a birthday party for Ebby's 21st.