RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho woman is using her love for crafting to honor lives lost to gun violence in the state. “They are going to reach out to me when they are ready to reach out to me,” said Brittany Roybal.
Over the past few months, Roybal has turned her craft room in her home into a memorial site for the dozens of people killed due to gun violence. She started making the memorial blocks after her sister lost a friend earlier this year.
Once she made a block for her sister, she offered up the idea on Facebook for anyone to reach out. “Families need resources and to know they’re not alone because these moms, these families they are hurting,” said Roybal.
She’s building these memorial blocks for anyone who has lost a loved one to gun violence. “Their dads, their sons, their daughters, no matter how long it’s been it hits them hard still,” said Roybal.
The blocks are each unique, made with each specific victim in mind. “I don’t put dates on them because I don’t want them to remember the date because they know. I just want them to remember who they were,” said Roybal.
Each block is filled with feathers, lights, and a quote. She builds a connection with each victim and the families left behind.
“When I meet them it’s a lot of emotion,” said Roybal. So far she’s made 37 of these blocks. All are free of charge for the families.
“They’ve already lost so much, a life is so much more than any amount of money,” said Roybal. She’s spent almost a thousand dollars on her own to get these done. Unfortunately, as the number of those killed by gunfire grows, it’s taking a toll on her funds.
That’s where generous strangers have come in. Each GoFundMe donation made helps make more blocks possible in an effort to heal the community while shedding light on the innocent lives taken too soon.