NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Grief is giving way to good deeds.
Just five months ago, a Norfolk family suffered an unimaginable loss when police say 17-year-old Asia Cowell was gunned down to prevent her from testifying in a rape trial.
This week, the “Justice for Asia” Facebook community is honoring her memory with acts of kindness.
“She especially had a heart for the less fortunate,” her aunt, Tina Cowell, told WAVY.
Just weeks before Asia’s death last fall, the young entrepreneur asked her aunt how she could use some of the money she was making braiding hair to help the homeless.
“We would pray at home together we would always end the night with prayer, me and my nieces, and she was the one who started saying ‘God Bless the less fortunate,’” Cowell said.
So, when Cowell got a text from a friend who dreamed up an idea to do good deeds in Asia’s name Tina responded emphatically.
“Automatically I was like ‘Yes,’ you know. I was like ‘Yes and I know that Asia would love it.’”
They’re calling the initiative Deeds4Asia. The gestures don’t have to be big. The social media post suggests maybe writing a thank-you card for your mailman, buying lunch for someone, or donating blankets to the homeless.
Asia’s little sister made artwork, which Cowell gave to co-workers.
Cowell asks that if the person receiving your goodwill feels comfortable, take a picture with them. If not, snap a selfie and share it to whatever social media platform you use with #deeds4asia.
“I want it to be a chain reaction just as a reminder life is short,” she said.
On Valentine’s Day, they will share all of the posts and pictures on their Justice for Asia Facebook page to show everyone all the good people have done.
In Asia’s case, three people have been charged with murder.
Police arrested 30-year-old Crystal Ashley Rudy Albritton, of Norfolk, around in early December. She’s charged with first-degree murder, abduction by force, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, criminal solicitation and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The other suspect is an 18-year-old female who was a juvenile at the time of Cowell’s death. She’s been charged with first-degree murder, abduction by force, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit a felony.
38-year-old Devin Aris Albritton was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit felony.