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Sutherland Springs community hosts BBQ with Santa Fe

Sutherland Springs joining together with Santa Fe

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas - The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs along with families of the Santa Fe shooting came together for a BBQ this weekend.

Members of the First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs along with families from Santa Fe came together to heal.
On November 5 and May 18th two different mass shootings changed two Texas towns forever.

"Evil never wins, this is Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe moving on. yeah we'll grieve, and we will miss those that we lost, but we are going to move on," declares Stephen Willieford, Organizer.

Stephen Willeford decided to bring Santa Fe families and Sutherland Springs families together for a BBQ to spread love and healing.
"Events like this actually are renewal and a chance to come together and share our experience and to laugh and to talk about the people we love that we lost," exclaims Willieford.

Substitute teacher Flo Rice she was shot in the Santa Fe school massacre, and she believes this type of event helps with the moving on process.
"Its very hard to see people go through a similar tragedy that we have but its also comforting because we both understand the issues. The loss the pain so its also a comfort to see whats happened the here it's a beautiful church," tells Flo Rice, Substitute Teacher.

Just like Rice, Former Santa Fe students Grace Johnson and Annabelle O'Day are loving the warmth they are receiving from Sutherland Springs.
"Its really inspiring because we have been going through things and to meet other people who have been through the same thing and just grow and heal together is very encouraging," adds Annabelle O'Day, Former Student.

"I think with something like this, they know exactly what we're going through, and we're able to talk to them and kind of compare feelings in a way and just get to know each other," Grace Johnson, Former student says passionately.

For the students of Santa Fe, they took their pain and turned it into purpose by creating a non-profit organization called Hearts United for Kindness.
"Whenever people hear about us they can know mental health is a serious thing, it's okay not to be okay but its not okay to stay that way and so people feel encouraged to get help and seek other people who are feeling the same things they are," declares O'Day.

Santa Fe families said that Sutherland Springs showed them how to stay strong in the midst of tragedy.


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