'Get involved': Remembering homicide victims while helping loved ones cope and heal in Philadelphia

Sunday, all across the nation, families are remembering those who were murdered and, in Philadelphia Saturday, instead of sorrow, there is hope as folks push for a better future.

"We want to help families to find their new normal. We want to educate them and equip them. We want to empower them," Ronda Gore, whose son was murdered, stated.

Sunday marks National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims and a person might expect a heavy and somber scene, but at a gathering at Martin Luther King High School people were greeted with love, hope and inspiration.

"I still weep, but discouraged I don’t get. What you see around here is powerful people that decided we’re taking back our communities. We’re going to fix this," Chantay Love explained.

Love is the president of EMIR Healing Center. She knows, firsthand, the pain of losing someone to murder when her brother was gunned down in March of 1997. She’s helped gather all the organizations that will help build a safer and brighter future Philadelphia.

Ronda Gore is a mother who runs one of those organizations called The Shelton T. Hayes Foundation. It was created in honor of her son, who was murdered in her own home in 2018.

Her organization gathers socks and other clothing items, but the real work they do is help mothers and fathers who just experienced loss get back to a new normal.

"The very beginning is, first, you have to embrace what has taken place. You have to breathe. It’s okay to breathe and it’s okay to be angry and cry. But, you can’t stay there," Gore explained.

As of September 23rd, there have been just shy of 400 homicides in Philadelphia. A daunting and depressing number, but the mothers and sisters believe they can change that tide.

"Get involved, get connected, make this one of your priorities. Because, if we can fix violence, we can fix an entire city!" Love said.