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Longtime victims’ advocate now needs community's help before winter

For nearly a decade, Gloria Watson has helped people cope with the loss of a loved one due to violence.

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 9:57 AM
Updated: Oct 31, 2018 10:40 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, MO.) For nearly a decade, Gloria Watson has helped people cope with the loss of a loved one due to violence. She does this because she understands that pain. On April 25th, 2014, her son Danny Watson and her sister-in-law Dawn Thorton were murdered. Gang members mistook the young couple for a hit and killed them after breaking into their home.

“Every since that day I’ve grabbed it by the horns, I'm not going to let anyone else go through that by themselves,” said Watson.

So each year, she organizes a balloon release to honor those loved ones she and others in the community have lost. She has made it her goal to be there to support others as they grieve, sharing the pain with them as they try to carry on.

“I know just about every victim and a family member that misses them too,” said Watson.

For many, Watson has become a pillar for them to lean on, but now it’s Watson who needs the communities help.

The roof on her and her husbands 33-year-old home is starting to give— wet spots, rotted wood, open insulation and mold line the ceiling in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room.

“I'm afraid it's going to fall in this winter,” sighed Watson.

Watson says when it rains, the smell of wet mold lingers thick in the air throughout the entire house. Making it hard for her and her husband to breathe. The ceiling leaks got so bad above her head, tiles fell off and hit her while she was sleeping.

The Watsons need help. They have bought the necessary supplies to fix the roof, they just need someone to help them fix it.

“We can't do it ourselves, I'm 63 he's 64, we're not asking for a hand out we just need some help,” Watson said.

The couple has applied for help through a city program but currently, they sit on the waiting list. Watson says if the city gets to their request, it will be far too late, as winter is just a few short weeks away.

“We need to figure out somehow and some way how to get this done before winter. We're not begging we're asking, we need this. We really need this or we would never ask, we'd never ask,” Watson sighed.

If you would like to help the Watson’s, contact them at 816-232-3482 or email her at

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