One step at a time: Ferguson mother channels grief, honors son through walking

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FERGUSON, MO – A mother is taking steps to stand against gun violence after her son was killed. It’s been nearly a year since Arnetta Burrell lost her son 20-year-old Samuel George. He was struck by a bullet in the 200 block of Northport Hills Drive when investigators say shots were fired in his direction.

“Mothers are grieving. You’re up all night trying to figure out what happen. Why me? Why my child? When you really think it could never happen to you until it actually does,” said Burrell.

It’s grief shared by many other St. Louis parents who’ve lost a child to gun violence. She says walking with a pain so deep is too much to bear alone, so she turned to GirlTrek for solace.

GirlTrek is the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. The organization encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities.

“What happen with Arnetta and her son is happening with black women across the country and GirlTrek believes that we can facilitate healing by bringing those women together and allowing them to create local solutions,” explains Vanessa Garrison, co-founder of GirlTrek.

It’s a journey that doesn’t need to be taken alone.

“Make sure that you have people around you who are going to rally around you and help you get therapy. Find your community. For me my community was GirlTrek,” said Burrell.

“It is a personal commitment every single day to take 30 minutes for yourself for self-care and do that through walking. On that walk, if you feel like talking– talk. If you feel like walking in silence– walk in silence. We just want to give the walking as a tool to women who don’t have a lot of tools,” says Garrison.

Police still have not found Sam’s killer. If you have any information, you’re asked to call the Ferguson Police Department.

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