MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mother of Trayvon Martin appeared before the Miami-Dade Commission on Tuesday morning to thank them for allowing her fellow county co-workers to donate their vacation time.
Sybrina Fulton, who has worked in the Miami-Dade Housing Authority for 23 years, has received a total of 34 paid weeks off (worth $40,825) courtesy of her co-workers.
Fulton wasn’t the only family member to benefit from the commission’s action. Yolanda Knight, Trayvon’s aunt who works in the county’s water and sewer department as a customer service representative, collected nearly nine weeks from fellow county employees.
A total of 192 county employees gave Fulton some of their hours while 70 donated to Knight Evans.
Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Bruno Barreiro put forth the measure last month which allowed county workers to donate vacation time to Fulton and Knight. Last year, the commission approved a similar measure to help the families of two police officers killed in the line of duty.
“I enjoy working for Miami-Dade County, and I continue to work for Miami-Dade County,” Fulton told the panel. “Don’t count me out so fast. I’m not resigning.”
Fulton was accompanied at the podium by her 21 year-old son Jahvaris Fulton, a Florida International University student.
“I will continue to make you proud of me as a county employee,” Fulton told commissioners.
Pearl Patterson Bethel, a contracting officer in the county’s internal services department, had never met Fulton but donated eight hours of vacation time and attended Tuesday’s meeting.
“I have a son who’s also 18 years-old, and at this time, I think it’s something we all need to rally together for her,” she said. “The county is a family, and when the family is in need, we all tend to rally together.”
Fulton has been on a crusade since her son Trayvon, 17, was shot to death in Sanford. George Zimmerman has pled not guilty to second-degree murder in the killing. Martin’s death sparked a national debate on race and so-called “stand your ground” laws.
“As of now, I have some additional work to do for my son, on behalf of my son,” she said.
Fulton and Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin have raised nearly $100,000 to launch a criminal justice advocacy foundation in his name.