Homicide victim's mom launches help site by Erica Brecher, WGRZ
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A mother is making a difference in the community where here son was murdered.
Saprina Wilkins lost her 22-year-old to gun violence last year, and his murder remains unsolved.
A few months ago, she said in an interview with 2 On Your Side that more people need to speak up.
True to her word since the one year anniversary of her son's death, Wilkins has indeed taken action, both to encourage people to come forward with information, and provide community support.
She launched a new website called LoveisLoud.net. Wilkins says she and her husband came up with it.
"I know that love is not silent, and when you love someone, you can't be silent,” Wilkins said, explaining the meaning behind the slogan.
Love Is Loud puts several resources in one place: The site hosts an electronic tip form for homicide and crime information, homicide statistics and links to counseling, and an “in memoriam” page featuring photos and names of victims.
Wilkins says parents are welcome to e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit their child’s information.
"It's actually a face that you can see that this was an actual person -- not just a statistic -- but a person that had a family that had a life; that was in school,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins hopes this reaches parents whose kids were also homicide victims. Her goal to show parents they're not alone and to step up her role in community support.
"We can heal together, we can go through this together. We can talk about how it made us feel, or the things that we can to do to make a difference,” she said. "I have 3-4 people that have already submitted a volunteer form, they have completed a form on the website, so that's encouraging as well.”
Wilkins’ son, James Mitchell, was shot killed more than a year ago on Weston Avenue. He was just 22 years old. The website features a photo of him.
"When I see him, and I see his smile, and just knowing that this is in memory of him, it brings some comfort,” Wilkins said. "It's not just about my son but it's about other people's children as well.”
Now that the website is live, Wilkins hopes to visit neighborhoods and hand out business cards and flyers.
She wants to have support meetings with grieving parents and volunteers monthly.
"I am a mother who lost her son, lost her child to violence. There are many mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence,” Wilkins said.