Kickball for a Cause event brings attention to lives lost on both sides of the gun
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) —
School starts in about a month and many children can't afford school supplies, especially children who have lost a parent due to violence.
On Saturday, more than a hundred people braved the heat to kick for a cause in Escambia County.
Kickball for a Cause raises money through the game to make sure children are ready for school next month.
Monique Fountain started Kickball for a Cause three years ago to bring awareness to gun violence in Escambia County.
"Often times after the funeral, everyone goes back to regular life, but the kids are still affected," Fountain said.
It is why she is reaching out to kids and parents each year to shed light on crime in the area.
"First year we only had three teams come out, second year there were six and now we're up to nine," added Fountain.
Innocent people killed and families broken; those impacted by gun violence like Alex West describe the atmosphere.
"I'm a part of the family of Sky Shine who was a murder victim in 2015; close cousin taken away from us too soon and every time we come out here we support him," explained West.
While some families are experiencing turmoil, others are doing what they can to foster a safer environment.
Floyd Middleton has been a apart of the event since it began. He is hopeful that bringing the community closer can help bring real change.
"No one knows if you need help unless you reach out. So we ask that you reach out to the community, to organizations like this and someone can help you," Middleton said.
For organizers, it is a chance not only to bring change, hope, pride and unity.
"We don't want them to be forgotten. we want to bring awareness that there are children who could use the relief so that is why we do what we do," Fountain said.
Last year organizers raised $1500 for back to school supplies. They hope to exceed that amount this year.