Little Netta's Story

Jeannetta Lacole Robinson, whose nicknames were Lil’ Jeannetta and Little Netta, was a kind, sweet, beautiful little girl born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. She exhibited great compassion and love for others when she celebrated her sixth birthday December 27, 1980 and gave away her gifts to children attending her party after learning they did not receive gifts for Christmas. Lil' Jeannetta was then tragically murdered in 1984 at age 9, along with her mother Cheryl Robinson, who was age 25.
Pictured: Lil' Jeannetta Robinson and Cheryl Robinson

Two ways in which Little Netta's legacy of kindness and spirit of giving live on through the Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love program, which provides gifts and books to economically disadvantaged children, and Little Netta's Gift, a children's book about the gift of kindness and joy of giving. Below are ways in which you can continue spreading love, kindness, and gift of giving with others, while honoring the legacy of a beautiful little girl.

1. Purchasing a book for yourself and/or other littles in your lives to enjoy (a portion of book sales support Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love)

2. Purchasing a book using our “Donate a book” link. Books will be donated to the children for the 2024 program and/or shared with libraries, schools, who might otherwise not be able to experience the book.

Little Netta's Gift and Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love

Inspired by the dedication and installation of the Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson Memorial Highway sign September 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, and the impact his grandmother and cousin had on the community, Mike Brown decided to share his late cousin's story by writing and publishing a children's book, Little Netta’s Gift.  Additionally, he and his family decided to resurrect the prior program and carry on the spirit and legacy of Lil' Jeannetta Robinson and Commissioner Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson through an evolved version of the program called Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love

The program has taken place in 2021, 2022, and 2023 and thanks to your support we were able to bring joy to the lives of 1,500 children in celebration of the legacy and love of two beautiful souls.


Photos: Providing gifts to students at Lincoln Avenue Elementary school. A staggering 98% of more than 380 students at Lincoln Elementary are economically disadvantaged and 12% scored at or above the proficient level for reading. With your support, we ensured 100% of them have a gift and book during the holiday season.


Photo: Providing gifts to students at Carver Academy Elementary school, which is where Little Netta attended school as a child.


Photo: Providing gifts to students at Zablocki, Auer Avenue, and Browning elementary schools in Milwaukee

Little Netta's Gift

The book was published December 27, 2021 and is available now. Orders can be made HERE.  A portion of the proceeds from book sales are used to support the Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Gifts of Love program.


Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Toys for the Children Santa Forgot but God Remembered through your Gifts of Love program history

Lil’ Jeannetta was the late Commissioner Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson's granddaughter, the late Ms. Claretta "Mother Freedom” Simpson's great-granddaughter, Elder Charles L. Walton's niece, and Mike Brown's cousin. 

A year following her death, Lil' Jeannetta's grandmother, Commissioner Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson, created a holiday giving event through her social impact non-profit agency, Career Youth Development, Inc (C.Y.D.), named Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Toys for the Children Santa Forgot but God Remembered through your Gifts of Love.  It was held annually in honor and memory of Lil' Jeannetta Robinson on her birthday, December 27th.  The event ran from 1985 through 2013 and grew from distributing holiday gifts to approximately 200 children in it's first year, to 2,000 local Milwaukee youth annually. For 28 years, the program brought joy to children that may have otherwise gone without during the holiday season. 

“A toy is more than a toy at Christmas, it’s a gift of love telling a child that someone cares.”

-Commissioner Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson

Co-Founder and former CEO of C.Y.D. and creator of the original Lil’ Jeannetta Robinson Toys for the Children Santa Forgot but God Remembered through your Gifts of Love program.