LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - So far in 2019, there’s been 58 homicides in Louisville.
That’s 58 funerals and 58 families burying loved ones.
“The children that are getting shot in the area, they do not have the money (for a funeral) and neither do their parents because they weren’t planning on burying their children at this early age,” Anthony Oxendine said. “It’s dramatic to hear that these children are getting killed by violence...throughout Louisville.”
Oxendine is the owner of Spring Valley Funeral Home downtown.
Since opening in September, he said at least three or four funerals per month have been victims of violence.
He said many are teenagers and young adults.
“I could not imagine having to close that casket lid on one of my children," Oxendine said. "So I can’t imagine what these families are having to bear and my heart just goes out to them. It just breaks my heart to see that.”
That’s why his door is open to anyone, regardless of if they can or cannot pay.
Sometimes, the funeral home gets donations. Other times, Oxendine reaches into his own wallet to cover the cost.
“The finance is the least of my concern," he said. "My biggest concern is taking care of the family cause we are here for the people.”
The mothers of some of the people he has buried are paying it forward now.
They've launched the Stop the Violence Back to School Giveaway, collecting school supplies for the young family members of homicide victims.
Oxendine jump started the drive by donating 200 backpacks.
“These parents, a lot of them have lost their spouse and they’re single parents with young children and they’re on a budget and they don’t have the money to buy these school supplies," Oxendine said. "And I know what it’s like to go to school with no supplies because I was there one time and I don’t want any other child to go to school without the supplies they need.”
Supplies can be dropped off for the back to school giveaway at Devastating Doo’s on Market Street. The giveaway will happen Sunday, August 11 at AMPED on Greenwood Avenue in the Chickasaw neighborhood.