Group making baskets for local mothers who have lost a child to violence

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With Mother’s Day around the corner, an area group is looking out for mothers who have lost children to violence.

Save Rochester is teaming up with area businesses to make baskets for mother’s in the area. 

“We want these baskets to warm the hearts of the mother’s whose hearts have been turned cold to the gun violence in Rochester,” said Mike Johnson, the Organizer of Save Rochester. 

The baskets are going to mothers like Toni Nelson, who lost her son to gun violence a few years ago. And days like Mother’s Day can be especially tough. 

“It’s hard, you know. He’s not there, he’s not laughing, he’s not driving us crazy at the house. So as much as you try not to think about it somedays, somedays it will hit you harder than other days and Mother’s Day is one of them,” Nelson said. 

The baskets are being filled with restaurant gift cards, jewelry, and food so mothers can enjoy Sunday with a nice meal. Nelson said for people to think of her and other mother’s who have lost a child is special. 

“For somebody to simply say, ‘you know what, we’re thinking about you, we haven’t forgotten about you, we know you have a pain that can’t be healed, but here’s something for you and we hope it makes you smile.’”

The baskets come as violence continues to rise in the Rochester area, leaving more parents without children. 

“There have been 22 homicides so far this year. That’s 43% of the total homicides of last year alone and it’s only May,” Johnson said. 

For those who have lost a child to violence, Nelson has a reminder for you: you’re not alone. 

“At some point, it will be ok. You will smile again, even if its briefly. You will think about something your baby did and you will smile,” Nelson said. “It will never go away, but it will be okay.”

Nelson says she plans to visit a garden made in memory of her son on Mother’s Day.

Johnson says Save Rochester wanted to make sure mothers like Nelson are supported. 

“We just wanted to show these mother’s they are loved and we have not forgotten about them. A mother’s love never dies,” Johnson said. 

This is the first year Save Rochester has made the baskets for mother’s who have lost a child. The group plans to donate the baskets at front doors on Saturday. 

If you want to donate to the basket, you can visit the group’s Facebook page. 

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