Three teenage gun violence survivors will have warm winter clothes and presents to open on Christmas thanks to the generosity of Lakewood women.
The philanthropists mobilized after Forrest Hills resident Amanda Johnson posted for help on the Women of Lakewood Facebook group. Johnson asked for pants, shirts, coats, shoes and other gifts that later appeared on her front porch.
“That is a big-hearted, come-to-your-rescue group,” she said. “They really wrapped their arms around that family, and they’ve been incredibly generous and giving of themselves.”
Session Pilates is providing other necessities that were not donated.
The teens, 17-year-old Trameicia Jacobs, 16-year-old Ashanti Ferrel and 15-year-old Shanaia Ferrell, lost their 18-year-old sister NeQuacia Jacobs in February after a neighbor opened fire into their Oak Cliff apartment, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The sisters had been playing music in their living room when they noticed the shooter, identified as 19-year-old Jeremy Warren, pacing the apartment grounds, according to the Morning News. As NeQuacia was closing the blinds, the man looked up and started shooting.
NeQuacia died after being shot in the torso, and Trameicia was shot in the back.
Johnson knows the pain of losing a family member to gun violence. Her sister used a gun to take her own life seven years ago. Since then, Johnson has created a local and national program to connect gun violence survivors at Christmas.
Through survivor networks in every state, Johnson helps families who have lost children to gun violence send Christmas gifts via Amazon to kids who have lost parents to gun violence.
“What surprised me is how much adopters enjoyed it,” she said. “So many people have told me, ‘I’ve not enjoyed christmas since I lost my child, and this has brought me joy.'”
Johnson added: “All gun deaths are personal. It really doesn’t fade, no matter the situation. I feel compelled to help them and give them a small, but happy Christmas.”
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