Jerusalem. Afghanistan. Germany. Switzerland. Africa. Scotland. Japan. Peru. Spain.
These are just a few of several hundred countries where #cravinraven — a hashtag created in memory of Burleson’s 6-year-old Raven Goff — has reached in less than one week.
Raven, who was affectionately known as Blackbird by her family, passed away Jan. 13 after a traumatic brain injury. Her parents, Tanner Trujillo and Shane Goff, chose to donate her organs through Life Gift.
During her celebration of life on Wednesday, Pathway Church Pastor Rick Owen said “God sent a Raven to feed the world.”
He spoke of verse 1 King 17 in the Bible.
“God had called out a prophet named Elijah, and a prophet is someone that God sends to speak to the people,” he said. “He was letting them know, through Elijah, that there was going to be a famine and there was not going to be water to supply the crops.
“And so he sends out Elijah, and Elijah does what he’s supposed to do. Now, Elijah himself, is hungry and he is thirsty. [God] says, ‘Elijah go over here and hide in this little ravine. And when you get to the ravine, I’m going to send you the ravens. And the raven will bring you food and bread.’ And God did.”
Just as God sent a raven to restore Elijah so he could fulfill his purpose, Owen said God sent Raven to restore families around the world.
“We all know what it’s like to have a famine. To have a drought. To be starving,” he said. “To be starving for love. A famine of feeling like you are isolated from the rest of the world. Just this famine of wanting somebody to understand, but you feel like nobody understands. A famine of people not knowing what to say or what to do, and you just kind of isolate yourself because no one really understands what you’ve been experiencing. And you’re experiencing a drought of compassion, of empathy — you name it. You could be in a family and be in famine.
“And it’s amazing how God sent this little Raven all across the globe. Not just here in Burleson, Texas. Not just here in a little church that we call Pathway, all throughout this campus where every crook and cranny is filled with people. But throughout the United States of America and all around the world. And people were fed through this little Raven and they found hope. They found compassion. They saw a story of love.
“Our Raven was just full of God’s love. Just saturated; it just poured out of her. And some of you in places around the world, what you don’t know, is that all of a sudden when you got captured by the story of the Raven, all the barriers broke. And all of a sudden it didn’t matter that you’re black, that you’re white. That you’re rich, that you’re poor. That you live in Africa or you live in Jerusalem. You are a communist, you are American. You are a Republican, you are a Democrat. Single, married, divorced. We’re just all people. Human beings. And through little Raven we got reminded that lots of stuff that divides us really doesn’t matter. Because we are all children of one God. And even if you don’t believe in God, God believes in you.”
Around the world, people followed Raven’s story through videos her mother shared on social media.
“Raven’s story and spirit went around the world, touching lives,” Owen said. “Touching young moms who lost their child and no one knew. Touching dads who will never see his son or daughter because of the divorce. And it just goes on and on and on around the world. But when she fell into the arms of her good, good father, there was a miracle. Because that’s what God does.”
More than 2,000 people attended Raven’s celebration of life, and more than 9,000 people from around the world watched it live online.
Her mom, Tanner Trujillo, during her celebration of life said through organ, tissue and eye donation, Raven saved the lives of one child and three adults and provided the gift of sight to two children. They were anticipating eight lives being saved, but Raven’s lungs were not able to be donated.
“Are organs the only thing that made Raven saves lives?” she said. “Whenever people are doing decals and rocks [for fundraisers] and I see a big ‘8.’ Let’s lazy 8 that, because the only limit of lives that Raven saved depends on you. It depends on me. We are the only limiting factor on how many people Raven can save with her story. Infinite. Generations. I’d rather focus on that: lives. Not just organ donation. Lives.”
Driving around Raven’s community of Burleson you see her favorite colors pink and purple everywhere. Ribbons around trees, lights on porches, rocks painted and scattered in gardens and sidewalks, digital signs glowing brightly for all to see.
Students from across the Burleson Independent School District wore pink and purple to honor her on Wednesday. Band students at Burleson High School learned and performed “Blackbird” by The Beatles.
Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter proclaimed Jan. 11, 2020, as Raven Day in the city of Burleson.
Downtown Fort Worth and Dallas were lit up with pink and purple lights.
A local bakery created “The Raven” donut, adorned with pink and purple icing and sprinkles. Kendra Scott created a special “Raven” collection, with pieces chosen by her mother.
People are sharing photos of #cravinraven written on a piece of paper and what part of the world they took it in.
A star was named “Raven Nicole Goff” through the National Star Registry.
GoFundMe pages for Raven’s mom and dad have raised nearly $95,000 for medical expenses and other financial support.
The community has also come together to create several fundraisers of T-shirts featuring Raven’s artwork and jewelry with her name. Benefits are scheduled including “Forever Cravin Raven,” a night of food, music and silent auctions from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 23 at Old Town Brewing Company, 112 W. Ellison St. in Burleson. There is also “Riding for Raven,” a charity motorcycle ride at 11 a.m. Sunday beginning at the Fuel City, 1107 N. U.S. 67 in Cedar Hill.
In Texas, there are 10,000 people awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, according to Life Gift, but only 54 percent of adults in the state are registered donors.
To become a registered donor, visit lifegift.org.