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Nonprofits team up to ease holidays for families of Cummings Elementary students months after shooting

Memphis Artists for Change and Beyond Educating Foundation teamed up to collect donations for a holiday giveaway for Cummings Elementary families.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis organizations are bringing holiday joy to the families of Cummings Elementary with an upcoming donation drive.

It comes two months after a student brought a gun to school, shooting and injuring another.

For several days, Memphis Artists for Change and Beyond Educating Foundation have collected and organized donations which will be given to families.

Families will receive items like Christmas gifts for the kids, plus clothing, essential household items, school supplies, and more.

Memphis Artists for Change Executive Director Tameka Daniel Greer said it's to help families not worry as much during the holiday season. One piece of the "boots on the ground" work they do is to serve individuals who are directly impacted by violence.

"Violence reduction isn't just about removing the guns," she said. "You actually have to attack the problem at its root - so it's poverty. That's meeting people's basic needs and helping them to be in a position of stability."

Greer said at the heart of the matter is to show love.

"[To] let them know that are loved," she said. "That they are supported. That the community cares about them beyond just what happens inside the school, but what happens after the school. We have hope for their futures, as well.”

Beyond Educating Foundation is a non-profit which fights to make education more fair for intercity students. It's STEM-based and brings artificial intelligence and holographic education to students.

"My motto is education plus exposure equals success," Executive Director Keauna Cheers said.

She said through the giveaway they hope to provide a sense of relief by taking what was a traumatic moment and giving them a moment of joy.

“They’re not going to forget it," Cheers said. "They’re always going to remember it, but they also can remember Memphis Artists for Change and Beyond Educating Foundation and everybody else pouring into Cummings was actually there for us.”

The Items will be given to Cummings Elementary families this Saturday.

Memphis Artists for Change will also host a conflict resolution training called "Chill out Mane" on Wednesday night. It'll take place at Abyssinian Baptist Church from 6 to 7 p.m. The event will prepare people for any tension that may arise over the holidays and how to de-escalate and resolve it.

Registration is required to attend. Registration Link: http://Bit.ly/chilloutmane

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