By Ahniaelyah Spraggs
MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — A local organization determined to stop gun violence in Mobile hosted another event Saturday afternoon.
“We stand, we grieve, we fight. We share our experiences. And we’re just standing, fighting for our youth to have a chance to survive,” said Nija Hill.
Nearly two years after Hill’s 16-year-old son was shot and killed in Mobile, she’s hosting another event to help other grieving mothers.
“My son was 16 years old – his name was Chavan Scruggs. He was murdered and robbed September 6, 2021 – on Labor Day,” said Hill.
When her son died, she formed a local organization called Mothers Involved Against Gun Violence. Since then, it has brought many local mothers together.
“It has helped me mentally, physically and it helped me to strive very hard as well. I was just having very bad mental breakdowns and I was depressed,” said Donna Dumas, whose son, Cameron, passed away in 2021 after testing positive for COVID-19. Donna said joining the organization was a “big step” for her.
Another member of the organization shared her story behind why she joined. “I was shot in 2008 due to gun violence. And, this is my son CJ Carlos Peebles and he was shot in 2017,” said Felecia Dorsey, as she held up a picture of her son.
Over a week after Mother’s Day, Hill hosted a raffle and fundraiser in Cathedral Square Saturday afternoon. Hill said Mother’s Day is not always a celebration. With that in mind, she held the event in support of mothers mourning the loss of a loved one.
But, the location of the event brought back painful memories for Natasha Reives.
“This is one of the hardest things ever – to be out here and at first, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it,” said Natasha.
Her son, Jatarious was the only person who was killed in a New Year’s Eve mass shooting in downtown Mobile at the beginning of the year. 9 others were hurt in that shooting that happened a few blocks away from this event.
“Gun violence has gotten out of control here, out of control and I’m here to stand in the gap with Mothers Involved Against Gun Violence to encourage other mothers that have similar thoughts – depressive thoughts, as myself – that there is help out here and don’t be ashamed,” Natasha adds.
While looking ahead, all women in this organization say they’ll continue supporting the community and each other.
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