On Halloween last year, a Facebook group called “A Halloween Celebration of Hope” started.
It was a community for those who experienced a loss or were in need of support.
“Our community was pretty strong, we had a lot of support,” said one of the Facebook groups organizer.
“We were kind of the first to get out on Halloween, and the first ones to do it were the first people to do this on Facebook.”
In the video above, you can see how the group grew over the course of the week, with a lot more than a few people volunteering their time to help others.
“People were really supportive, and people were really generous,” said participant Alex Kowalski.
“They were willing to help each other out and give us the time of day.”
The first group to get started was called “The Night Before” and was made up of people who had lost someone to gun violence and had come together for a night of entertainment.
The group had over 50 people at its peak, and they posted a video of them dancing and singing along to a playlist of songs.
People shared tips on how to dress to get a good night’s sleep, and even shared their own personal horror stories.
A lot of the members had lost friends or family members to gun attacks, and many had taken action to change the culture around gun violence in their communities.
“I was kind of hoping that if people would come out and share their stories, that there would be more people coming out and telling their stories,” said Kowaloski.
It wasn’t just the stories that the people of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” shared, but also their thoughts on Halloween.
“The reason why I came out to help the group was because of what I saw happening on the internet,” said Facebook participant Alex Echols.
“What happened on Facebook, the stories on Facebook were so powerful.
I was watching the news and seeing so many gun violence videos.
I thought, well, maybe that’s what people are seeing and hearing about.
I wanted to help them.”
In a post on the Facebook group, the group called itself “a safe space” for people to talk about their own experiences and stories of gun violence.
“If people are reading this and thinking ‘I can relate to this,'” said Kowealski, “then that’s how I feel.
That’s how the whole country feels.”
“We wanted to be the space to really share the stories of people like us, people who were hurting but also doing amazing things in our community,” said Echol.
“And that’s the beauty of the Halloween event: It’s not just about the costumes and the party, it’s about the real people.”
It was after that Facebook event that Kowayski started to get involved in the “A Nightmare Before Halloween” Facebook group.
He started posting about the events of the previous night.
He posted about his own experiences with gun violence, and he shared a video showing people dancing with friends to a song from the movie The Nightmare Before Disneyland.
“So it was a really important moment in my life,” said C.J. Jones, another member of “A Christmas Celebration of hope.”
“And the way I look at it is, this is not something that’s gonna happen to me.
This is a life-changing event for me, for all of the people who are experiencing this now.
This isn’t something that we’re going to get better at, this isn’t a holiday party.
This was a day to celebrate the people we’re in a position to help, and that’s just a great thing to do.”
“The way I see it, this was a life and death situation for so many people, and it was so important for us to be there to be a place where we could share that experience with people,” said Jones.
“It was a chance for us not to have to do the things that we would normally have to put ourselves through.
And for us, it was the opportunity to celebrate people we knew and loved.”
In “A Night Before Christmas,” “The Nightmares Before” were a Christmas classic, and this year it was about to get even more popular.
“Last year, I went through a really tough time,” said Jamielle Evans, who had just lost her husband, James, to gun suicide.
“When I saw the video, it made me cry.
I cried for a long time, and I think I cried harder than I had in a long while.”
Evans had been a regular on the “Halloween” Facebook event, but she had been looking forward to it this year.
“This year, they’re not doing it again, so I had to make a decision about whether I wanted this to be my next event or not,” said Evans.
“To be honest, I’m not sure.
I don’t think I’m going to be able to do