FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- JAVA held their December meeting Saturday at Calvary United Methodist Church to give families mourning during the holidays a chance to tell their story, or make an ornament to remember their loved one.
Theresa and Monica Jones lost their son and brother, Tommy on September 29th.
"He was only 22. He wanted better for himself. He became an uncle. He loved his nieces and nephews," Monica Jones said.
The family said his death was ruled a suicide after his girlfriend said he had been contemplating, but his mom said she believes it was murder, and heard five gunshots.
"I'm the one that found my son laying on my lawn with a bullet in his head," Theresa Jones said.
As Christmas approaches, it's getting hard to not have Tommy here, but with the support of other families, things feel easier for the family.
"It helps me because I'm not the only one whose lost a child or lost someone they loved to gun violence," Theresa said.
Pastor Heather Olson-Bunnell with the church said she has hosted JAVA for the last two months, and wants to show her support.
"We want to make sure persons have a place where they can safely share the hurt on their hearts," she said.
Olson-Bunnell lost her husband last month to cancer, and can relate to the feeling of loss. That's why she's opening the church next Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for a candle lighting ceremony and gathering for families.
"There's hope that when we get together, we can make a difference, a significant difference in situations and persons' lives."