For the sake of a child

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life44 Comments

Manya-and-o copy

Sometimes I post a lot of silly or entertaining stuff on my blog, but today I wanted to share a story and make a request of you on behalf of a little boy named Oliver.

On January 6, Oliver's mother, Manya, died as a result of a domestic assault. It was a horrible crime. You can read more about it here.

It happened on the street where I live, in my neighborhood. Just eight houses away.

I didn't know Manya, but we knew of her family when they moved into our neighborhood a few years ago, due to her husband's status as a sexual offender. The entire area was notified, as is law in the state of Minnesota. It seemed they were a young couple determined to rebuild a life here in St. Paul.

In this wake of this tragedy, a little boy is without his mother, and of course, without a father as well.

Manya's family has set up a fund for Oliver, a child who now will be cared for by extended family. I know you can't put a pricetag on anyone's life, but if you have $10 to spare, I know this is a family that would appreciate it so very much.

100 percent goes to Oliver and his future. I am assuming this is also tax deductible. Payments are being accepted through PayPal. You will receive a receipt that says The Manya Memorial Fund.

Thanks for taking the time to read this today. 

Click here to donate.


Cathy ZielskeFor the sake of a child

44 Comments on “For the sake of a child”

  1. #5

    Donation done.

    I know we can never know without ‘walking a mile in her shoes’… so sad that an educated woman would still allow herself to be in an abusive relationship. I’m hoping (& fairly certain) that my daughters are strong enough in their own skin to never let this happen to them.

    Wishing we could empower all of our daughters to be resilient and strong & love themselves for who they are. It’s never easy.

  2. #6
    Deb Kolb

    This is so tragic. I just live in Coon Rapids & for some reason didn’t hear about it. Donation done.

  3. #8

    Heartbreaking story. I hope Oliver is surrounded by love. I was compelled to donate. Prayers for all involved and thanks Cathy for sharing and allowing us to help.



  4. #10
    Kristin Neely

    Cathy, this is the first time I am reading your blog. I have made a donation, shared the page on pinterest and twitter, and prayed for this sweet boy who is now without parents.

  5. #13

    As the elder sibling of a lil sister who spent many years with an abusive partner, I can only thank for highlighting this tragic story. All too often, people are terrified of saying something and probably this lady waited over 50 assaults until this happened before even telling a friend let alone the police. As a health visitor in the UK, I daily had contact from the police about children living in families where there was domestic abuse happening and it was a part of my role to support the families, women and men as men do suffer abuse from their partners too.
    Thank again and I pray little Oliver will get all the love and support he needs to grow into a young man who treasures the memories of his mother and can learn to perhaps forgive his father.
    I pray for all of you in ur neighbourhood, never ever think that you might have missed something, domestic abuse can be easily hidden.
    Love Jo xxxxx

  6. #15

    So very sad. Blessings to Oliver the extended family who will be raising him. Donation coming.

    Thank you for highlighting such an important issue on your blog

  7. #17
    Jennifer Larson

    I read about this story in the Strib. So sad.

    I am about to read the book In the Time of the Butterflies with my students, which is an avenue for talking about violence against women, since International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day takes places on the anniversary of the Butterfles’ death (November 25). I talk with them about how domestic violence happens everywhere. I will be sure to mention this case and this fund.

  8. #18
    Michelle Liimatainen

    Payment coming. I am horrified, sad, bewildered and in awe of you all at this exact moment. That poor sweet baby. What a horrible, horrible man. I hope he rots in jail for years to come.

    You are an amazing woman to do this for this child. Amazing. God Bless you.

  9. #19

    Thanks, Cathy, for shining a light on this. I donated and sincerely hope that Oliver’s life will be all that it should be, despite these horrific events.

  10. #20

    This was a beautiful idea, Cathy, to share with your readers through your blog and let us know about Oliver’s plight. Donations and prayers are flowing for this precious baby boy.

  11. #21
    Scrappybarb in VA

    I am heartbroken for little Oliver. Thanks for letting us know about this sad situation.

  12. #24

    Donation sent – how sad for this little boy. Also sending prayers his way that he can grow up healthy and happy. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. #26
    Amanda M.

    This is very very sad. I have to say I am in awe that anyone would marry someone who had been convicted of rape. Its just stunning to me. He did 10 years for this. And then have a child with him. I feel for the women he has raped and attacked and of course the little boy.

  14. #27

    Oh that sweet little baby boy – so tragic. Thanks for highlighting and hopefully making a small difference in his life.

  15. #28

    Thanks, Cathy. I am a former domestic violence county director, and no one can truly understand “why they stay.” I just finished reading Jody Picoult’s “Picture Perfect,” which comes as close to describing the problem as anything. It’s amazing how it can be hidden; it is really that “dirty little secret.” Next-door neighbors and even family have no idea the violence is going on. And because of this secrecy, the community usually thinks it doesn’t exist—never, not here, in this quiet close-knit community. I ran into this all the time. I also had a very close friend who “stayed” for 20+ years, despite trips to the hospital—until finally her apartment neighbors did call the sheriff. Most often the predator is “such a nice man (I’ve also had male victims), a pillar of the community”—and he is, part of the time. But there is usually that undercurrent of need to control the partner, and when he drinks/takes drugs, he can’t keep himself under control. The stories are rampant, and unless you know about them over and over, you don’t recognize the pattern. Thanks again, Cath, for spearheading this and bringing it to more people’s attention.

  16. #29

    I have long admired and respected you and your cute, funky personality and SPUNK. Today, you became more than an “idol” to me — you became a sister, a friend. Thank you for spotlighting this tragedy on your blog. I will donate right now and I will pray for Oliver, his extended family and your entire neighborhood.
    Thank you for simply being you…

  17. #30
    tiffany h.

    What a sweet boy in those photos. It just breaks my heart that he is now mother and father-less. I pray that he will be with family that will love and protect him. Thank you for sharing this story; as tragic as it is.

  18. #33
    Kim Beer

    As a survivor of domestic violence I thank you for sharing this story, and providing an opportunity to help this gorgeous bubba. I am forever grateful that I did not become a statistic and that my beautiful boys and I were able to escape the terrifying existence we went through and go on to live our lives, eventually without fear. I will pray for Oliver and his beautiful Mumma’s family. I am sure she will be watching over him. Kim

  19. #36
    Kristy Vescio

    I cannot get this out of my head. What is so unbelieveable to me is that I live in the same metro area that you do and I did not see any of this on the news. I cannot imagine how much of this goes on and we have no idea. What a terrible tragedy. I will continue to pray for this family.

  20. #37
    Laura Solomon

    As a survivor of abuse, I am so horrified that this type of thing happens. 1 in EVERY 4 families EVERYWHERE have some type of domestic abuse on their home – whether it is verbal abuse, emotional abuse, etc… I do public speaking to raise awareness AND wrote a book about my experience. I am just so sad that it is so common and that this young mother lost her life and that he left a child motherless…Really SO shitty.

  21. #39

    WOW, this story just made me sick. The horror that must have went on in that poor woman’s life. Poor Oliver is now without a mom. That man is a monster! So many people affected by domestic violence reading through the comments, some people in this world are just sick!

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  22. #40
    Malbon Boettcher

    What a tragic story. I felt sick to the baby. Your a valor enough for having such inspiring move for the sake of the baby. What you did awaken others to realize that we have a responsibility to each and every one. God bless !

  23. #42
    Ryant Wainwright

    It’s so depressing and miserable situation.I feel pity to Oliver who has suffered much from the unscrupulous acts of his wicked and ruthless father. That bad guy should be put into electric chair or be prisoned for a life sentence. May we have something to give for Oliver.

  24. #43
    Sutera Truitt

    My heart is bleeding for Oliver. Feels so sorry for the incident. I deeply appreciate your heart for this campaign to help this wonderful creature. WE ALL NEED A HEART FOR OLIVER…NOW!

  25. #44

    Thank you so much for putting this on your blog and for all the donations!! The picture popped up on my pintrest and I had to check it out. I’m so glad I did! Thank you for sharing:) Oliver attended my school when this happened. He is an amazing little boy and deserves the best 🙂

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