gift

Still A Mother gift baskets make difficult holiday extra special for mothers who have lost children to gun violence

NEW YORK — For many mothers, Sunday marked a bittersweet holiday and serves as a constant reminder of what they’ve lost.

CBS2’s Jessica Moore followed one local mom who lost her son to gun violence as she set out to change that.

Inside a Brooklyn warehouse sat a pile of red wrapped gift baskets created for some very special mothers.

“The people that actually gets the baskets, to see the feeling they get, unexpecting a gift, it’s amazing. It makes me feel out of this world,” volunteer Edward Barnes said. “She said, ‘Oh my god, you won’t believe it. Look at this.’ It was candles, all kinds of stuff to sit in the tub and get your mind away and it made me feel so good.”

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After her son was killed by gun violence in 2017, Michelle Barnes-Anderson decided to reach out to the other moms who know the searing pain of losing a child.

“It helps me stay alive. He was my only child,” Barnes-Anderson said.

The baskets contain all kinds of things to lift the spirits of other moms who have lost their children, including salon gift cards, self-help books, and journals.

“The Still A Mother, the basket, to me, is if you don’t want to be with anyone, be with you and your child that lives in the sky,” Barnes-Anderson said.

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Officers from the 84th Precinct helped deliver the baskets to moms across the city, like Karen Mana.

“I feel happy. I feel excited. My son is not here, but I gotta move on. It’s difficult. I have my good days and bad days, but this is something exciting,” Mana said.

“These people need this because this time of year is a reminder every single year, and she just always let them know that despite your loss you still have us. And it’s a beautiful thing to me,” volunteer Wayne Franklin said.

It’s a simple gift that serves as a powerful reminder that they are never alone. They’re still mothers to be celebrated, remembered, and and honored in whatever way they choose.

The foundation serves communities all year round. Organizers say they’re now looking for laptop donations to start a GED program.

You can find out how to donate by clicking here.