BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Kareema Morris founded Bury the Violence in 2013 after her 13-year-old niece was murdered. The organization helps assist families in locating missing children or runaways in addition to purchasing headstones for homicide victims.
"We sought out to purchase headstones for homicide victims because there's so many street memorials. In order to eliminate them or minimize them in our community where we want to live and raise our children. We don't want to welcome homicide like this is an okay thing," Morris said.
Torina Bigham's son, 26-year-old Lorenzo Lee Jones III, was shot and killed on Hertel Avenue back in March.
"He was smart, funny. He was caring and loving. He was cool," Bigham said.
She said the past few months without him have been terrible as her family tries to cope.
"It costs to live, but people don't realize it costs when you die also. It's left on the families. Just going to my son's plot and it's just dirt. That messed with me as far as grieving," Bigham said.
Then, Bigham's cousin put Morris and her in touch. Bigham said Morris became an instant friend.
"It felt like I know her. She made me feel so comfortable. Even just our texts. I knew she was a good person," Bigham said.
Morris said she's able to help families because she understands what they're going through. She's been affected by homicide herself, most recently this week.
"This past weekend at Delaware Park, my son's best friend, like a son to me, was tragically murdered at the basketball court," Morris said.
Bigham said receiving her son's headstone brought joy during a difficult time.
"You will be surprised about the things that make you happy. That headstone... I was as happy as ever. Probably that was one of the happiest days since that had happen to him," Bigham said, "His son has somewhere to go visit. It's nice. It's real nice."
"It's heartwarming to see people appreciate a headstone," Morris said.
Morris said the organization's goal is to help 10 homicide victim's families obtain headstones each year. The organization accepts donations through their GoFundMe, on CashApp at $burytheviolence and on Zelle at email@example.com.