None of us are exempt from potential tragedy and no matter how close a relationship we have with our loved ones, or even with God, it does not keep us from experiencing tragedy from time to time. Nothing guarantees that we’ll be protected from harm. We see that in the news every day. Whether by accident, deliberate acts of violence like the Boston Marathon ombings, or suicide, as was the case with Pastor Rick Warren’s 27-year-old son who committed suicide a couple of weeks ago.

Death is the hardest thing we will ever have to face…but we don’t have to face it alone. We are a society of survivors advocating tolerance, love, and faith. Tragedies can tear up families, communities, and our country if we let it but we can chose to let such horrific events bring us closer.

Together, we can take a stand against the violence that is affecting millions and together, we can come up with better solutions to these problems. But it will take collaborative efforts and being proactive rather than reactive.

Thank you for being connected! God be with the families that are mourning the recent death of a loved one. Please keep them in your prayers.

In solidarity,

Sandra T. Huerta

Sandra Toscano Huerta

Sandra was born in Mexico and migrated to the United States as a young child. She grew up in Southern California and is the middle child of a family of 11. She and her husband, worked hard to raise their children well. They have four children and two grandchildren. Sandra has extensive experience in marketing and graphic design. She is fluent in Spanish and uses her bilingual skills in both her professional life and within non-profit organizations whenever the need arises. Tragedy devastated her and her family with the homicide of her 21-year old son; which took place in April of 2004, by her sister’s boyfriend, a 2-strike felon and gang member. Adding to their horrific loss, the killer was a fugitive for ten taunting months and when he was finally arrested and tried by a jury, the tragedy mounted by a shocking acquittal. Sandra found herself in a tormented state for months, until confronted with a choice that had to be made in order to survive her son’s death and once again be the mom she needed to be for her surviving children. Shortly after the acquittal; her family moved across the country in fear of their own safety. Through the frustrating and painful experience during the criminal trial, she found herself compelled to help other victims needing a linguistic resource, and determined to help make a difference, she now works as an independent interpreter. She is a Victims' Advocate for North Carolina Gang Investigators' Association (NCGIA) and volunteers with local grief support groups. Through public speaking and with efforts to provide hope and encouragement to bereaved individuals suffering the death of a loved one, Sandra endeavors to bring awareness about the aftermath of violent crimes. In addition, she believes it’s important to be proactive and work to gain ground in the areas of gang and domestic violence prevention.

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