What If It Happened To You?

No one ever thinks it will happen to them. That’s one of the resounding themes of crime victims, and their loved ones. Maybe it’s just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe it’s a relationship gone bad. Maybe it’s flat out bad luck. But — it does happen. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. (The violent rampage of Isaac Zamora in Skagit County comes to mind, when Zamora, who was mentally ill, killed six people and wounded several others in Alger in 2008).

Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims and Missing Persons. That’s where this non-profit group, more commonly referred to as Families and Friends, comes in to help. They are marking 35 years in the community, serving people who’s lives and families have been touched by violent crime. Jenny Weiland Ward is the Executive Director. Her own life was touched by violence when her daughter, Amy, was murdered in 1992 at the age of 17. I first met Jenny shortly after I moved to Seattle, and was working in TV news at KOMO. Jenny and Pamela Eakes were starting the group Mothers Against Violence in America, or MAVIA.

A voice for crime victims. Since then, Jenny has gone on to be a voice and advocate for victims of crime — both here in Washington state and across the nation, working tirelessly on behalf of people who likely didn’t even know Families and Friends existed, until they needed to have someone there for them.

How you can help. Families and Friends is holding its annual breakfast on Wednesday, November 10th, at 7:30am at the Tulalip Resort Casino. They need your support, so that they can provide everything from crisis counseling to helping famlies through criminal court proceedings. The breakfast is free, and I’d suggest a donation of $150 to help this critical group continue to provide their services for free, to those who need it when violence strikes.

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