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Symbol of love for families affected by violence

Justice Coalition delivers teddy bears on Valentine's Day to victims' families

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Valentine's Day weekend is here and the Justice Coalition wants everyone to feel loved, including local families who have lost loved ones to violence.

To help the grieving families, the Justice Coalition delivers teddy bears to them on Valentine's Day to let them know they are loved and thought of.
 
"To know that somebody cares is very important," Justice Coalition executive director Ann Dugger said. "It gives them a sense of security and a sense that they're not alone in this valley they are walking through."
 
Moms like Brittany Jones feel that love. She's just one of many receiving a bear. She lost her daughter in a hit-and-run crash in 2013.
 
"It means a lot to me," Jones said. "The Justice Coalition has stuck beside me from Day 1. I appreciate all the love they have offered to me and my kids."
 
Jones said this small act of charity helps her feel loved on Valentine's Day.
 
"She didn't get the chance to grow into it, but she knew she was loved," Jones said. "This would mean a whole lot to her plus my other two girls."
 
This is just one of the Justice Coalition's ways of helping families heal throughout the year.

At Christmas, the group also gives out teddy bears that are made out of clothing belonging to the lost loved ones. 

The coalition is hosting its 13th annual "Together We Can" campaign breakfast from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. Individual tickets cost $25. For more information, call 904-783-6312. 


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