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PARENTS: Here's a free resource to help you talk to your kids about gun violence

Hate has no place here sign
Posted at 3:00 PM, Jun 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 10:35:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — You might see brightly-colored lawn signs with messages of love as you drive across Western New York. The signs, which read, "hate has no place here, " are designed to get people talking, and they're helping parents do just that.

After learning about the mass shooting at Tops in Buffalo, artist Jocelyn Sperduto took to her computer, created the design, and posted it to her Facebook page.

"Everyone just started sharing it," she said. "People starting messaging me - do you have it on t-shirts, do you have a sticker, do you have it on signs?"

So she reached out to the owner of the Totally Buffalo store who helped turn the artwork into a lawn sign.

"We ordered 100, I put it online at like 9:00 at night. By the next morning we had sold like 60 of them," said Mary Friona-Celani.

Sperduto and Friona-Celani are both mothers, and they wanted proceeds from the signs to go to an organization that would help both the community and other parents when it comes to the conversation about gun violence.

"You think you know what you're doing. You think you know how to explain it," said Friona-Celani. "But when it comes here to our area - it's hard to talk to them."

Proceeds from the sign are going to the organization EPIC, or Every Person Influences Children. On the EPIC website there are two classes that could help parents as they broach the topic- "Dealing with Crisis and Trauma" and "Helping your Child to Cope."

Liz Vetrano from EPIC says the online classes are designed to guide parents through all the tough questions many of them are struggling with about gun violence.

"How do I share this with my child? Do I share this with my child? If I don't will they hear about it at school? No one can have the answers right away - and nobody can be expected to handle things the right way every time," Vetrano explained.

Parents can log into the class at any time, and prepare themselves to answer any questions their kids might come to them with.

"I think it's invaluable," said Vetrano. "To be able to pull something right up - and have these short workshops that can guide you how to take this ride with your kids of grief, of processing, of service and action."

The women who started the sign movement -
are both moms themselves.
They hope what they're doing helps foster the healing process.

"If everybody driving by sees that sign, maybe they'll feel some hope, feel some togetherness. And that together we really can change things and make a better community," said Friona-Celani.

"Hate has no place here," echoed Sperduto. "There's no room for hate in Buffalo."

If you'd like to register to take the free EPIC classes click here.