Local organization raises gun violence awareness

D'Andra Todd and her husband at the All 4 Peace event on Saturday.

A collection of local groups gathered at University Park on Saturday to spread awareness for gun violence victim resources.

The group SEANS Love Project ran the event with other groups like Rise Up for Peace, Moms Demand Action, and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

SEANS Love was founded earlier this year by D’Andra Todd, after she lost her son, Sean, to gun violence. Support groups like Moms Demand Action helped her cope with the loss.

“It was a community of people that were stronger than myself. And I needed that strength,” she said. “And they provided that for me, and they helped me come out of it. And they’ve turned my pain into purpose.”

Todd then founded SEANS Love Project to try and to help others who’ve felt similar pains as her. She works to help benefit the communities affected by gun violence by feeding the homeless and by putting on community events.

“I want them to just know that there are people here,” Todd said. “If something does happen, I want them to know that there are people here for them, that there are organizations that they can come to in their time of need, even if they haven’t been through anything, that we are here.”

Rise Up For Peace and Moms Demand Action provided resources on both gun violence prevention and support for victims and their families.

“There initially wasn’t anything in place for a family that lost a loved one,” said Johnny Johnson, the co-president of Rise Up for Peace.

“So by building these bridges and collaborating with these different organizations and bringing everyone together again, get the victims and the victims’ family reassurance that they have someone to turn to when it wasn’t nothing at all,” Johnson added.

Todd said that she was in a dark place after losing her son, and she wants to support others during their own journeys. She said that even if she helps only one person, it will all be worth it.

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