The Florida Parents of Murdered Children hosted their annual White Prayer Breakfast on Saturday for mothers like Aurianna McNear who lost her son just 2 months ago.
“My son's name was Kirre McNear," she said. "He was a 17-year-old child that was gunned down on May 4. This will be the first time I spend the holidays without him.”
And Leakta Bush says she didn’t just lose her son to senseless gun violence but multiple family members as well.
“It makes us feel hope," said Bush. "People still care, and they love us.”
Among those who have supported these families affected by gun violence, NBC 6's very own anchor Jackie Nespral and reporter Ari Odzer were honored on Saturday.
“It is an incredible honor to receive the Spotlight Award, for the work that I do every day in this community," said Nespral. "Putting a spotlight on the issues these families are facing. The faces of the people who are fighting the fight every day.”
“I tell them 'I should never have met you this way. You should be strangers to me,'" said Odzer. "But the fact they are not strangers is a testament to them because they have turned their grief into action to make our community safer."
“We still have violence in our community and it’s a long-term battle," said Chief Public Safety Officer of Miami-Dade Police Department, Freddy Ramirez. "It is not just policing but these groups working together to bring trust within us.”