Local non-profit brings Christmas to family affected by domestic violence
BATON ROUGE- A non-profit organization is stepping up to give kids a Christmas after their mother was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend.
A Christmas sleigh of a different kind arrived at the home of 2-year-old Kevon Warner, 5-year-old Roland Thomas, and 6-year-old Roshay Warner. These children will be spending Christmas without one special person this year: their mother.
25-year-old Dezarae Warner was brutally gunned down on Washington Avenue. Police say her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas London, 24, pulled the trigger and ran.
"She was a comedian basically, she kept everybody laughing and happy," Dezarae's mom said of her daughter. "Their mother's gone but I mean, they have me. I'm thankful to know that they have a lot of other people."
Chiquita Warner, Dezarae's mom, is doing the best she can do to provide for the kids.
Other people like Jason Hughes, founder of Project 70805, has partnered with Catholic Charities and other local businesses to give Dezarae's kids a Christmas they'll never forget.
Hughes met Dezarae through Catholic Charities last year, and he assisted her and her family with Christmas gifts. After he received the news of her tragic death, he knew he had to do something special.
"Every year I meet with them to get their list of toys that we donate. We met about a month and a half ago and they informed me that one of the young ladies that we helped was killed. So, I took it upon myself to contact some people in the community to come together to make sure that these kids had something for Christmas," Hughes said.
The non-profit presented gifts, and even a Christmas tree for the family to ease the pain of losing their loved one.
Placing each gift under the tree, all three of Dezarae's kids have smiles on their faces. And even though there's nothing anyone can do to replace their mom, Hughes hopes this gesture will restore the Christmas feeling.
"We don't want to just stop here, we want to keep and continue to be in these kids lives as much as possible. Because it's not just the only Christmas they have to deal with this, and I can't imagine it happening," Hughes told WBRZ.