KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Mothers of Mission Survivors hosted its 7th annual wreath-making event to support families who have been victims of gun violence.

“We’re here to make wreaths in honor of our loved ones and hang them on our doors and just celebrate,” said Terry Walker-Smith who lost two of her four sons to gun violence.

“My son Djuansay Dee Freeman was killed October 13, 2007,” Walker-Smith said. “And then my son Christopher Lynn McBath was September 15th, 2009, 12 days before his birthday.”

She also said the holidays are never easy but coming together with others who have lost loved ones makes her feel a little less alone: “Holidays, and birthdays are especially hard no matter how long the time is.”

It’s a feeling no mother wants to experience, and a feeling Zenobia Dobson, the mother of Zaevion Dobson, knows all too well.

“This is the start of the beginning of the week that my son was murdered,” Dobson said. “And of course, it’s a painful journey that I walk but I just want to encourage others while I walk this journey.”

Dobson is referring to the 2015 shooting death of her son Zaevion – the Fulton High School student and football player who was shot while shielding friends from gunfire. Since her son’s death, Dobson has become an advocate against violence. Her message now is about healing.

“It starts with healing first,” Dobson said. “So many mothers are traumatized by this. So many children are traumatized by this, but this is just the healing process.”

Through ribbons and bows parents, siblings, and friends of those who are now gone are learning how to heal together. These wreaths represent those we’ve lost and provide some comfort to their families during the holidays.

“We want other mothers to know that they’re not alone,” Walker-Smith said. “You know that we’re there for them. And just for them to know that we can come together. It’s a group that nobody wants to belong to, but we do belong to and the support for one another that’s what we’re here for.”

The event was hosted by Zenobia Dobson and Terry Walker-Smith and supported by the City of Knoxville Office of Community Safety, Mothers of Mission Survivors, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Turn Up Knox.