Parents at Will Rogers Learning Community were accustomed to seeing Silvia Crespo-Jarquin on campus, whether she was dropping off two of her four children for school, attending meetings or helping out at the annual Cinco de Mayo festival.
Her absence has sent the school community into a scramble to help her family.
Crespo-Jarquin suffered a brain aneurysm last week and was on life support Tuesday at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, according to school parent Lana Negrete. Her condition was not expected to improve.
On behalf of the Will Rogers parent community, Negrete on Thursday launched a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe that had raised more than $6,800 as of Tuesday afternoon.
The $100,000 drive is intended to provide a measure of relief for Crespo-Jarquin’s husband and four children, including a 20-month-old.
“He was crying in the waiting room and saying, ‘I never knew my wife knew all of you,’” Negrete said of Crespo-Jarquin’s husband. “He’s totally overwhelmed with the support. He’s so appreciative.”
The sudden nature of Crespo-Jarquin’s health decline has forced the family and volunteers to act swiftly as they prepare for what’s ahead.
Negrete has been in touch with numerous government agencies as she’s tried to arrange for Crespo-Jarquin’s parents, who live in Mexico, to see their daughter before she dies. Will Rogers parents had stepped up to pay for their transportation, although immigration issues have complicated the process, Negrete said. She was working with elected officials to obtain humanitarian parole.
Crespo-Jarquin’s husband, who works at both Santa Monica Seafood and a local Rite Aid, will likely have to cut back on work hours to care for the children, which will mean a significant reduction in income.
Negrete said volunteers are working with the Community Corporation of Santa Monica in an attempt to find more affordable housing for the family.
The community has arranged summer care through the city’s CREST program for the two Will Rogers students, a 2nd-grader and a 4th-grader. Volunteers were working to find care for the 20-month-old through Child Development Services. Their father was preparing to explain to them that they won’t have their mother anymore.
“We want to keep the kids distracted in a positive way,” Negrete said.
The crowdfunding campaign will help the family cover medical and burial costs, Negrete said. Money could also be used to set up trust accounts for Crespo-Jarquin’s children. Members of the Will Rogers community are organizing meals and other assistance for the family.
“I saw her every morning with her beautiful smile, and I was so touched by this story,” Negrete said. “She’s such a nice woman … There’s just something about her. She was CEO of the household and I felt like, ‘Who’s going to fight for them and make these phone calls? Who’s going to be there to pick up the pieces when it’s really hard?’ I just wanted to make sure that [Crespo-Jarquin’s husband] knew the support wasn’t just immediate.”
To donate to the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/267qwv8.