365体育官网Moms Demand Action has sewn together more than 20 quilts since 2015 as a way to symbolize the human toll of gun violence in America.
365体育官网BROCKTON — Eight years after the murder of her son, Sharon Baker picked out his favorite colors to sew into a quilt.
365体育官网Between cuts of “royal blue” and “blood red” fabric, the Brockton mother placed a picture of Tyrelle, who was 23 when he and a friend were gunned down inside a car on Battles Farm Drive.
365体育官网Baker gave her “survivor’s block” to the gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action last summer, whose volunteers will sew it into a quilt.
Earlier this month, Baker returned to help others who’ve lost family members to homicide finish a deeply intimate ledger of the city’s struggles with gun violence.
Moms Demand Action, a national grassroots organizations, has sewn together more than 20 quilts since 2015 as a way to symbolize the human toll of gun violence in America.
In Brockton, they turned to Life After Death, Baker’s group of gun violence survivors, to find people in need.
365体育官网The exercise came at a time of heightened gun violence in the city. Brockton police had reported at least five shootings within the past week, including one homicide.
365体育官网Nearly 20 people turned out for an event held Saturday, Feb. 15 at the public library, where volunteers, elected officials and grieving locals finished designing a 48-piece quilt that was begun last summer.
“It was perfect timing,” Baker said. “Brockton’s been doing a really good job but to have so many shootings in one week is just unbelievable.”
Nearly half the Brockton quilt is comprised of survivor’s blocks crafted by people grieving the loss of a loved one to homicide.
For one survivor’s block, pastors Kim and Robert Odom cut fabric from a shirt that belonged to their son Steven, who was murdered at age 13.
Meeting survivors like the Odoms can be therapeutic, said Baker, who encouraged anyone struggling with the aftermath of gun violence to attend her monthly Life After Death meetings.
“I’d advise all the people suffering in silence here in the city of Brockton to come out and love one another,” Baker said. “Let’s share our pain and our strength and our weaknesses. Let’s cry together and let’s eat together.”
The group meets for two hours on the third Saturday of each month, starting at noon at the Brockton Public Library.
365体育官网As for the quilt its members are helping create, Moms Demand Action volunteer Kathleen Barry said it will be sewn together in another city.
The quilt will be named before it returns to Brockton, where Barry said it can be hung in a variety of places upon request.
365体育官网“That’s what this quilt does,” Barry said. “It travels throughout the country.”
Staff writer Ben Berke can be reached at email@example.com