DALLAS — After a difficult year, the No More Violence organization wanted to make sure nearly three dozen kids had a reason to smile. Sunday night, the group hosted a holiday party for kids from the Dallas-Fort Worth area who have lost a sibling or parent to violence.
“We definitely want to show our support. Let them know that we’re here for them, here for their kids, their loved ones, whoever it may be,” No More Violence volunteer coordinator Helena Lilly said. “Just to give them a little bit more joy this year. If they were lacking it in the beginning, we definitely want to fill their hearts with joy at this point.”
Evelyn Ellis brought five of her grandkids to the event. Ellis lost her son Raylon Jones just three months ago. He died while he tried to break up a domestic violence situation.
“He saw a guy fighting a lady and he stopped to help the lady out or try to break it up or whatever,” Ellis said. “But because my son tried to stop and help the lady, he shot my son and killed him.”
Jones left behind five kids under the age of 18. The holiday celebration gave them the opportunity to eat, roller skate and get presents. It was a moment to smile with a broken heart.
“It’s always good to give back. And these families have been through a lot,” Lilly said.
The celebration comes at the end of a deadly year in Dallas. There have already been nearly 200 murders in the city in 2019. Lilly says she hopes one day this celebration will no longer be needed.
“We celebrate these families but at the same time we don’t want this to be something for us to be celebrating,” Lilly said.
Either way, Ellis is grateful.
“No More Violence is making sure that they are taken care of and that their dad is not forgotten,” Ellis said. “And they are not forgotten.”
If you’d like to learn more or volunteer with the organization you can find more information on their Facebook page by clicking here.