INDIANAPOLIS — As Indianapolis rounds out another violent year there will be countless families celebrating the holiday without a loved one due to gun violence.
Antonia Bailey knows that reality all too well and started The Untold Foundation. She is using her painful experience to spread joy and inspire the next generation.
“They’ll be dancing, winning prizes and just enjoying themselves,” Bailey said. “A lot of them might not be able to enjoy themselves at home so I want them to enjoy being a kid for a moment.”
Bailey held her 3rd annual Winter Wonderland at the Far East Side Neighborhood Center on Friday night.
Along with dancing, kids had the opportunity to enjoy some hot chocolate, decorate ornaments and cookies and enjoy a warm meal. Bailey wishes two of her children were here to witness it.
“It’s bittersweet so sometimes it brings tears,” Bailey said. “Especially since their birthdays just passed so this my birthday gift to them.”
Her son Nicholas would’ve been 20 years old this year and her daughter Ashlynn would’ve turned 19. The two siblings were shot and killed in their apartment while getting ready for school in August 2019.
Bailey said her life isn’t and never will be the same.
“The morning of their birthdays I cried like a baby because I can’t see what a 19-year-old looks like. I can’t see what a 20-year-old looks like,” Bailey said. “I can’t see the fruits of my labor and all the love that I poured into my children.”
Since then she has made it her mission to combat gun violence in the city and to show children their potential in life. She said many of the people who came tonight know her pain all too well.
“It’s heartbreaking and I hate that so many parents now have to see what life is like without their children,” Bailey said.
Bailey said the goal of the Winter Wonderland is to let kids be kids, even if only for this one night. As part of the event, there were clothes, books and toys for the children to take home with them.
Bailey hopes this party will give these kids hope and help address the city’s violence problem one child at a time.
“I wish that the children would put down these guns,” Bailey said. “Their future is so bright. If only they give would give themselves a moment to allow them to see it.”
Bailey also holds toy drives through her foundation in honor of her two children.
You can find out more about The Untold Foundation and its upcoming events here.