Chicago artist helps make sure lives lost are never forgotten

Chicago violence has sparked a very personal movement ahead of this Mother's Day.

A Chicago man is giving everything he has to provide comfort to mothers who have lost their children to violence.

"I got that phone call that no mother should receive, that your child was shot,” said Elizabeth Ramirez.

At a surprise birthday party, days before he would turn 23, Deejay Rodriguez was shot and killed. Seven years later, no one has been charged with his murder.

His mother says one of the hardest days of the year is this weekend.

"I could say that every day is a hard day for all of us mothers, but when it comes to mother's day it's very painful,” Ramirez said.

Chicago artist Maxwell Emcays is working tirelessly to make sure Chicago never forgets the victims of the city's violence and the pain their loss leaves behind.

"When a child died, when a story was big, people would be sad about it for a moment and then move on so I was particularly trying to address that,” he said.

It started with stickers and buttons, but then grew to t-shirts, bags and hats. On his own dime, Maxwell printed thousands of pieces using his own artwork.

"I didn't realize that it meant so much for them,” he said. "I couldn't charge them and I just did what I could afford to do."

The project has grown into a movement and a website -- neverforgetchi.org -- where families can request products.

"The response is real and it's genuine and it leads to relationships like with Elizabeth,” Maxwell said.

"Maxwell calls me Madre, that's mother, and I call him Hijo, that's son, that's how, the love we have for one another, I say this that god puts people in people's life for a reason,” Ramirez said.

This Mother's Day, Maxwell is donating 500 Never Forget gift packages to mother's who lost a child to violence, hand delivering them at Saint Sabina Church.

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