NEW ORLEANS - With her son's wheelchair on display, his hat hanging from the handle, Tancy Johnson delivered a monologue in honor of her son Jeren Johnson.
"I had that wheelchair personally kept away because it reminded me too much of my son and my son's struggles. So it really was dear to me to be able to share my personal experience with those that loved me. The mothers, as well as my family members," Johnson said.
Jeren Johnson was struck by a stray bullet in 2010. For five years, Johnson was paralyzed, until tragedy struck again in 2015. This time, Jeren didn't survive the shooting.
"The night that my son lost his life I was actually contacting my son to break the good news that he had reached his five-year mark and that it was time for him to get a new wheelchair," Johnson said.
Tancy Johnson and others gathered at Tombar Life Center Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to the violence.
Jeanette Scott, who delivered a monologue at the event also feels pain. She lost her sister, Tamira Johnson in 2011.
"She was walking to the store with her son to get something to eat. And some guys came wanting to kill another guy and she caught the bullet," Scott said.
What hurts her the most is when Scott reaches out to children at local schools and notices it's not only her family that's in mourning.
"The kids, to see how many kids have lost a parent, or a sibling to the violence. It has to stop," Scott said.
"We've been told that we live in the "hood." No, we live in the neighborhood. It's not a hood, it's a neighborhood, and we have to start becoming neighbors again," Joron Smith said.
Smith is the Executive Director of Seeds of Faith Equals Deliverance. He says we need to come together as a community.
"I talk about there are two types of people in the world: The people who live life and the people who survive life. And survivors are by any means necessary. So, things like remorse and responsibility and those things are out the window. So, we have start getting people to understand that living mentality," Smith said.
It's changing the mentality that Smith, Scott and Johnson say they will continue fighting for until the bloodshed stops.
"I won't stop at it until I turn my pain into purpose," Johnson said.
The money that was raised from the event goes towards the support of mothers who have and will lose children to gun violence. Click here to read more about Seeds of Faith Equal Deliverance.
Caresse Jackman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.