SHATTERED LIVES with Donna R. Gore, “LadyJustice”
Examining the effects of those who have survived violent crime and how it has impacted their lives.
Real people, real tragedy, real help.
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Mothers Against Gangs (MAG) Coalition is formed to combat the gang culture
Through tragedy comes action.
Mothers Against Gangs (MAG) is a coalition born out of the tragic killing of Martin Alberto Garza in the Imperial Valley of California. Martin didn’t come from a dysfunctional family like those who usually get involved in gangs, Martin wasn’t involved in gangs, but happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and was fatally stabbed by a gang member on January 6, 2013.
Our guest for this week’s show, Martin’s mother and founder of MAG is Yulil Alonso-Garza. She will relay to listeners information about her son, his murder, and what she and her community have done to honor her son.
From Yulil Alonso-Garza:
The Garza family was your All-American family. The peace officer, teacher, cheerleader, and football player. A tight knit family of four that gleamed with love and happiness every time they were together. One particular teammate said “It was scary love,” as he described the public perception of the Garza family affection. It was a relationship that everyone would witness at each football game, school gathering, Sunday mass, or family event. On January 6, 2013 this family was hit with an unthinkable tragedy as the youngest member, the all american football, basketball, and baseball player, Martin Alberto Garza was fatally stabbed and killed by a gang member. He was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. The Garza family was devastated. Martin was a senior at Brawley Union High School and was planning to attend Mayville in North Dakota to play football for the Comets. Life cut short due to an act of violence. But his legacy will live on through MAG (Martin Alberto Garza/Mother’s Against Gangs/Men Against Gangs) Coalition. His mother, Yulil Alonso-Garza, created this group to help kids deter from joining gangs. With the support of her husband and daughter, together they have begun outreach efforts to promote positive extra curricular activities that families can engage and be proactive in their communities. Although they are in the early stages of the organization process, they have already started to make a difference by demonstrating strength through their faith and love as a family. MAG Coalition organized and sponsored a multi sport event May 3-5, 2013, during weekend of what would have been Martin’s 18th birthday weekend. The organization financially assisted one of Martin’s BUHS classmates attend prom that was financially in need. With the help of private donations and student fundraisers, the organization has funded Senior scholarships for the Class of 2013 and they are scheduled to host a variety of summer events to help kids stay focused during the summer season when most kids are inactive. Please add MAG Coalition on FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/MAGCoalition?ref=hl
If you wish to donate to the organization you may send donations to PO BOX 1639, Brawley, CA. 92227.
It’s amazing to see a family and a community come together to do something positive for others, especially when lives have been shattered. Listeners will blown away by the strength that can come about when there is unity in purpose. The Garza family, Martin’s friends and schoolmates, and the community have proven that Martin’s death will not be in vain, but serve as a rallying point for other young people within the area.
The MAG Coalition is a collaboration of caring people, friends, and fellow Wildcat and Imperial Valley friends that came together because of the tragic loss of their Amazing son, brother, friend, classmate, Martin Alberto Garza. It is the coalition’s vision to raise awareness about several causes that were important to Martin: His family, his friends, his school, and his community.
La coalición MAG es una colaboración de personas, amigos, compañeros Wildcats y amigos del Valle Imperial que se han reunido debido a la trágica pérdida de nuestro extraordinario hijo, hermano, amigo, compañero Martin Alberto Garza. La visión de la coalición es despertar la conciencia sobre las causas que fueron importantes para Martin: Su familia, sus amigos, su escuela y su comunidad.
Shattered Lives: Mothers Against Gangs, the Garza Family