URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – Thursday night, people gathered at Crestview Park in Urbana. They unveiled an remembrance tree, honoring and remembering lives lost to gun violence.

This time of year can be especially hard for families who have lost loved ones. A lot of families in Champaign-Urbana have lost them at a young age to gun violence.

So, HV Neighborhood Transformation wanted to do something for those families. That’s why they made the remembrance tree.

It’s decorated with ornaments that have names and faces of lives lost to gun violence. Organizers said it’s something they can do to let the families know they’re not alone.

“We just wanted to give back because it’s the holiday season. We wanted to make sure we paid respect to those lives, and to the families, and let them know we are here. We know it’s tough times, but you have the community here supporting you, and we wanted to grieve and mourn with those families and of those loved ones,” Jobie Taylor, Communiy Outreach Coordinator for HVNT, said.

“For me, it’s more of how can I make the mom smile when it makes them cry, and tears sometimes are the cleansing of the soul, but I want to keep their memory alive. Keep some of these young people alive in a good way,” Maurice Hayes, the Executive Director for HVNT, said.

The tree will be in the park until January 2nd. You can add to it, whether it’s Christmas decorations, or the name of a loved one you lost to gun violence. Hayes said he wants the community involved. If you would like to add to the tree, you can contact HVNT at their website here.