This week, something even more unimaginably unfair happened to a woman I have worked with in this fight to end gun violence. A passionate fighter, she is someone I met as a survivor whose son was murdered in an attempted robbery 13 years ago. She is someone who has long been a deeply committed violence prevention advocate, who volunteers with several organizations fighting to end the violence, especially in Baltimore. And now she has lost another beloved family member to a drive by shooting in Baltimore. In fact, I learned that she has lost 5 family members to guns.
In 1990, her 16 year old nephew was killed. In 2004, her 17 year old son was killed. In 2016, she lost both a 24 year old nephew and a 23 year old cousin. And now, at the end of July 2017, her family was impacted by gun violence for a fifth time when her sister's 23 year old grandson was murdered in what sparse media coverage has called "unremarkable" and "like so many before," while acknowledging that for the victim's family it was "perhaps the most remarkable event ever." If only they knew the whole story. Four of these young men were fathers -- her son had a baby boy who was born a few months after he was killed, her cousin also had a son, and her nephews each had 3 daughters. Not only are mothers burying their children, something they should never have to do, but 8 children are growing up without their fathers.
When my friend called me, she said they didn't know how the family (who wishes to remain anonymous) would pay for the funeral service because "he didn't have health insurance." Maybe for a family who has experienced that kind of loss, it makes a sad kind of sense to worry that they are not prepared with life insurance to cover funeral expenses for a healthy young man in case of drive by shooting. It shouldn't make any sense, though, because it's insane that any family should suffer so much loss.
On top of the unimaginable tragedy of losing someone to gun violence, families are often financially unprepared for such an unexpected and massive expense. And these tragedies are more often happening to families who are the least able to afford to pay for funeral services, especially when the money is needed so quickly. I know many of you do so much to fight to end gun violence, but right now, this family, the family of someone from our activist community, who fights alongside us to end gun violence, needs our help.
With the count now at 200 homicides for the year, Baltimore has suffered too much. This family has suffered too much. While we do all we can to fight to reduce gun violence in Baltimore and throughout our state and our country, there is something more we can do that will help right now. We can't bring back their beloved son/grandson/nephew, but we can make sure that his family is not experiencing financial distress as they struggle with the emotional distress of losing a 23 year old young man to senseless violence.
If the family doesn't raise $6,076 by this Monday, July 31st, they will not be able to hold a proper funeral service as planned. It's urgent that you give now. (UPDATE: THROUGH YOUR GENEROSITY, WE WERE ABLE TO GIVE $3,500 TO THE FUNERAL HOME BY THE DEADLINE SO THAT THE SERVICE WAS ABLE TO HAPPEN TODAY, FRIDAY, AUGUST 4TH. HOWEVER, THE NEED IS STILL THERE FOR THE REST OF THE MONEY TO GO TO THE FAMILY TO COVER THE REMAINING EXPENSES. I UPDATED THE GOAL BECAUSE I FORGOT TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE 8% FEE THAT GOES TO GO FUND ME. THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES, SO PLEASE CONTINUE TO SHARE WIDELY. THANK YOU.)
Please contribute whatever feels generous to you -- every donation matters, every dollar raised is one less worry for this family. We can do this for them. Please join me in donating today. Thank you so much for anything you can do to help.
Note: Go Fund Me takes about 8% of every donation for the use of their technology and processing fees, so consider when you are donating adding that amount to your contribution so the family recieves the amount you intend to give. For example, a donation of $100 might be rounded up to $108, or a $25 donation might be increased to $27.
- Catherine Dodge
- Kimberly Morgan
- Lauren Reynolds
- Cheryl Veith
- Sarah Montgomery
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