Group in Roanoke FEDUP with gun violence

Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -Families Expecting Deliverance Using Prayer, known as FEDUP, hosted its 2nd annual prayer breakfast Saturday to honor those lost to gun violence.

FEDUP co-founder Rita Joyce started the organization after losing her son Joey Joyce to gun violence in 2004.

“And when we started this, gun violence was nowhere near what it is now, nowhere, and that bothers me,” said Joyce. “That it’s still an epidemic around the world.”

FEDUP came together again to honor and pray for loved ones lost to gun violence this year

“For the families, because we want them to know that we remember their loved ones and that we care,” explained Joyce. “For the community, because we want the community to see the impact that gun violence does, the impact. When you see those empty chairs, that’s a huge impact in a little city like Roanoke, Virginia. Huge.”

Joyce said each chair represented a life lost in Roanoke this year. One of those seats represented William Dungee Jr. His father William Dungee was present at the event.

“Losing him has been the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me,” explained Dungee. “But to put it all in a nutshell, he was my everything.”

Jean Dickerson lost her only son Samuel Dickerson to gun violence May 29.

“And it’s just a tragedy. It’s just so hard to go every day,” said Dickerson. “He’s always told me ‘I love you, mom’ every day. He did every single day. And I just miss him so much.”

Both families said the event meant a lot to them, and hope more people join the cause.

“This whole field should be filled with people. That people should be saying, hey, they’re fed up with what’s going on in our neighborhoods, in our community,” added Dungee. “They should be fed up that their child or their family could be next.”

Click here to learn more about FEDUP.

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