20 Children Survivors of Gun Violence to Receive Angel Tree Gifts

Dallas woman has personal quest to make holidays brighter for children who lost loved ones to gun violence

The holidays can be hard when someone you love is no longer here. Amanda Johnson, of Dallas, knows that too well.

She lost her younger sister six years ago to gun suicide.

"It's like when we think of the effects of gun violence, we just think of the deaths. But the ramifications go far beyond just losing one person," Johnson said, describing the pain and emotional injury to survivors. "It's not just one bullet."

Johnson has been collecting donations for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program for the last seven years. This year, she decided to use the same model to collect donations for 20 Dallas-area children in need who have lost parents or siblings to gun violence.

"So, I tell people it's not easy, but it gets easier," Johnson said. "But those first holidays are really hard."

Johnson, an activist with Moms Demand Action, said she hopes the children getting the gifts are unaware of who bought them. She just wants to lighten the burden.

"I get that this is just material," she said, looking at donated gifts. "But if it gives them some ray of fun and hope, and the childhood Christmas they should be having, then it's fantastic. It's worth all the work."

If you would like more information about how to donate to Johnson's campaign, email txsurvivorteam@everytown.org.

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