Tampa organization holds holiday giveaway for families impacted by gun violence

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — “Helping Thru” the Hurt Mentor Program wanted to spread a little holiday cheer to families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence.

“We blessed 65 children today with boxes of toys. They got backpacks full of school supplies,” said Markitia Robinson, found of the organization.

Niecha Santos was one of the many families a part of the event. She said, “My boyfriend was killed when my twins were born. They were two weeks old.”

She told 8 On Your Side the support system means the world to her and her children.

“I met a lot of people out here. A lot of kids bring us together so that’s why I think it’s a good event.”

Santos hopes this group can help tackle the senseless crimes. “Stop the violence. When you kill somebody, you hurt families.”

It’s a feeling Robinson said she can also relate to. She was inspired to create this event after her two nephews were killed by gun violence.

Robinson said her goal is to touch the lives of as many kids as she can.

“We just want to reach out to them and just let them know that we love them and that they don’t have to be in the streets and they don’t have to do all type of negative things and there are still some positive things that they can be doing.”

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