Mother helps grieving parents with comfort, funeral details in the wake of deadly gun violence

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Donita Royal found a purpose for her life following the death of her son on May 2, 2013.

"It started when my son and his best friend got killed to gun violence," Royal said.

She said after a year of fighting through her own grief, God gave her the idea to start the Mothers Against Violence Healing Ministries. It has been a tough year in Indianapolis with more than 150 homicides so far in 2019. That means 150 families grieving and looking for help from people like Royal.

"I put toilet paper, dish liquid, hand soap, paper towels and laundry soap for everything," Royal said. "The mother can't get out, you know, to shop."

Royal also offers Women's support groups each Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Pilgrim Baptist Church. She said helping other mothers helps her in return.

"When they leave, they feel good," Royal said. "They don't want to leave, which is a good thing."

Royal said someone recently donated 40 caskets to her ministry. That is a huge gift considering she said she is helping with two to three funerals a month in Indy. She empathizes with these mothers who are left with grief after death.

"The child is going before the mother and the mother is burying her child," Royal said. "The thought is, 'I should be going before you.'"

If you would like to connect with Mothers Against Violence Healing Ministries, visit their Facebook page to learn more.

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