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“It helps me heal:” Milwaukee family gives back on Christmas to honor man killed by violence

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MILWAUKEE -- Robert James was shot and killed in Milwaukee more than a year ago, and on Christmas, his family says they are remembering 30-year-old James by doing what he did -- help the less fortunate.

Robert James

Robert James

"We're always giving amongst the family let's give to the people that really need it," said Gloria Nichols, mother of homicide victim.

Gloria Nichols says it's only fitting because her son was truly generous.

"He gave the community and in his legacy this is what I'm doing to keep his legacy alive," said Nichols.

Robert James was shot and killed August 19th, 2014. He is remembered as a property manager who gave jobs to people down on their luck, and school supplies to neighborhood kids.

Gloria Nichols

Gloria Nichols

Instead of their usual secret Santa, Nichols and the rest of the family decided to pool their money to buy and hand out blankets and socks to Milwaukee's homeless.

"This is actually our first year doing this. Ever since my mother died I wanted to give back to the community because that's what he did," said Corsica James, sister of homicide victim.

By 10:00 a.m. Christmas morning, a line was waiting at 18th and Wells.

"It's too bad her son got shot for no reason but it is good they are out here on Christmas helping people out," said Ernest Jeter, Milwaukee.

Nichols also packed 50 sack lunches. Milwaukee family gives back

"It humbles me because I am able to see how what I can do how it impacts other people, you see that immediate reaction," said Francesca Watson, sister of homicide victim.Giving back

It only takes a few minutes to hand out the items, but Nichols and her family hope their testament to James holds this memory intact.

"It helps me heal and keeps his name going around here," said Nichols.

Police did arrest a man and charged him with James' death. That man went to trial and was found guilty and not released.

The family of James have also started a charity to help other victims of homicides and gun violence -- it's called "Roberts Way."


  • Mel

    What a wonderful group of people! They took a terrible and unescessary tragedy and turned the sense of loss to do something positive to help our community. Bless his soul, he must have been a wonderful person to inspire this. Merry Christmas that is what Milwaukee is really made of!

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