Non-profit organization helps children traumatized by domestic violence

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s giving season, and a Philadelphia woman who started the nonprofit SHE IS U is going the extra mile to make Christmas bright for families. SHE IS YOU goes the extra mile to make Christmas bright for families who have been traumatized by domestic violence.

This holiday season, we show you the magic she created for five-year-old twins whose mother was killed just over a year ago. It was the first time she had blessed a family with a stay.

Cameron and Carson Patton will soon be celebrating another Christmas without their mother.

Their tragedy of seeing their mother killed in a domestic violence incident touched Shakina Rush’s heart.

The Good Samaritan found a way to bring Christmas to the family a little earlier with the help of her non-profit organization.

“Boys love her. Like, they literally get excited when they see her because they know that every time they see her, something happens behind; whether it’s gifts, clothes, toys , jokes, whatever. They always know it’s going to be one of the good times she’s there,” said Symiah Patton, the children’s aunt.

Rush blessed the children with a stay. It recently took place the weekend before Christmas in Brewerytown at an Airbnb. It even included a private chef and a visit from Santa.

“I think it’s beautiful, because Ms. Shakina always says, ‘It’s a blessing to be a blessing to people who are going through other things that you don’t always know much about,'” said Symiah.

Rush has been a blessing to this family since their mother Sykea Patton was murdered on November 19, 2021. Their aunt helps raise them.

The 24-year-old was killed in front of her two boys.

Her ex-boyfriend Donovan Crawford is charged with his murder and remains behind bars.

Rush’s foundation, SHE IS U, raises awareness about domestic violence.

“Losing their mother to domestic violence makes me think of my own child and how it could have been them and how I wish someone would have done for them what I am able to do,” said Rush.

Rush founded the nonprofit during the pandemic, it’s a personal mission for her also being a survivor of domestic violence.

“I need people to understand that this is something that happened to young women, young African American women,” Rush said “and it’s not something to be taken lightly or ignored. So that’s what made me choose Sykea.”

Since the tragedy, Sykea’s sister, Symiyah and Rush have formed a close bond. They are called family.

“I just think the best antidote to trauma or tragedy is real love and real support,” Rush said.

For Cameron and Carson, Rush is like Santa Claus all year round. She says staycation is about smiles and brothers knowing they are loved.

Both Rush and the boys’ aunt are inspired to bless more families affected by domestic violence.

They are already planning to go big over the holidays with a toy drive or several staycations for other families next holiday season.

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