INDIANAPOLIS — There is work being done to assist families impacted by gun violence in Indianapolis.
A local organization is trying to help take some of the financial burden off those caring for children who have been personally impacted by providing school supplies for the upcoming year. The group is calling for the community to help with the effort.
Purpose 4 My Pain is a support group for family members here in Indianapolis that have been impacted by gun violence. For the first time ever, they are holding a back-to-school giveaway and they are hoping to help 100 families.
"I just feel like in the aftermath of gun violence families are forgotten," DeAndra Dycus, founder of Purpose 4 My Pain, said. "It's a forgotten sector. There's so much that comes with the aftermath."
It's a feeling Dycus knows very well. Her son Dre was hit by a stray bullet when he was 13 years old. He's now 19 and a quadriplegic. The shooting not only changed DeAndra and her family's life but the care he requires is costly. Dre now stays at a 24-hour rehab and nursing facility.
"Guess what? Today I get to see him," DeAndra said. "I haven't seen my son in three months due to COVID. I get to see him. Can't touch him but I get to see him."
The violence has an impact.
"It changes everything," DeAndra said. "I met with a family yesterday of a young man who was shot two years ago and is now a quadriplegic. We just start talking about needing a wheelchair van for quality of life, needing a specialized wheelchair for quality of life. Those are things that matter. Those are the things a lot of people forget about."
In an effort to help families impacted by gun violence, Purpose 4 My Pain is collecting school supplies for their back-to-school giveaway. The contactless event will be held at the MLK Community Center on July 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"The vision of Purpose 4 My Pain is how can we support in the aftermath, even if it's something so small as giving a bookbag to take the burden off of a grandparent who may now be raising a child," DeAndra said.
In Indianapolis this year there have been more than 110 homicide investigations, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
"How many of them were fathers? Mothers?" DeAndra said. "Taken from their kids and now the kids have to get ready to go back to school."
The group still needs donations — everything from backpacks to paper and pens. They also need volunteers.
"This is not a journey anyone should walk alone," DeAndra said. "Know that Purpose 4 My Pain and all of our entities and supporters we are here to love on you and support you through this journey every step of the way."