KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Kansas City women are using their loss to help not only inspire the next generation but to help make dreams come true for those who’ve been affected by gun violence.
The smiles on Rita Berry and Darryn Miller’s faces didn’t come easy, both of them being co-founders of the foundation, Torch Carrier.
“I was the last person to talk to my dad before he got killed,” Miller said.
“It was a blur as well, at first trying to comfort her was my biggest concern,” Berry said.
Miller’s dad Darryn was killed 12 years ago, forcing the then-teenager to navigate a world without her rock.
Berry Realized that now she was a single parent.
“It was a big mental thing for us as well,” Berry said.
A decade later these women seek to fill a void for the hundreds of children who’ve lost a parent to senseless gun violence right here in Kansas City, just like Miller did.
“It’s real big on the news . It happened. Everybody is there. What happens like four years down the line or three years down the line?” Berry said.
“It doesn’t really get easier. I mean you just find a way to cope with it” Miller said.
Torch carrier is the foundation both are now spearheading. The goal is to give six children who have lost a parent a big graduation here at the Tiffany J. Event Center for free.
Help with financial literacy courses, scholarships and a Visa Gift Card to help them make the transition from high school to whatever the next chapter of their life is.
All in all, they are looking to give a support system to help guide them for what is supposed to be a celebratory time.
But for those who have lost their parent—their everything—not having them at such a crucial time in life can be extremely hard.
“It takes a village and these are torch carries – this is the next generation and we are here to give them just what they need” said Berry.
If you would like to help you can donate here or contact the Tiffany J. Event Center.