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Melody Geddis McFadden: Helping survivors of gun violence smile again

South Carolina Moms Demand Action volunteer Melody Geddis McFadden supports survivors of gun violence when they need it the most.

Moms Demand Action volunteer Melody McFadden speaks at the podium at a Don't Look Away rally in Washington, DC in 2022

Melody Geddis McFadden first encountered Moms Demand Action after her niece, Sandy Pa’Trice, was taken by gun violence while on a trip to Myrtle Beach in 2014. After her niece’s death, Melody met the local Charleston, South Carolina group of Moms Demand Action and immediately connected with them. Now, 8 years later, Melody has worked tirelessly to support other survivors of gun violence and advocate for a safer future. 

“I go hard to honor my mother Patricia Ann and my niece Sandy Pa’Trice that were taken in senseless gun violence,” Melody, who is a veteran, survivor, and South Carolina Moms Demand Action volunteer, expressed. “Love is a verb in my vocabulary. I love them so every single thing I can do to save a life will honor them all the more.”

The moments that keep Melody inspired and involved with Moms Demand Action are those of solidarity with others who are struggling with the loss of loved ones. She founded a program, Survivor Smiles, that encourages and supports survivors of gun violence when they need it the most—helping them get through the difficult times. What she loves the most is seeing survivors smile again despite their hardships. 

Melody stands with a group of six other Moms Demand Action volunteers at an event in Washington, D.C.

“One of my most precious moments was a recent one where a Mom was struggling over the recent death of her son,” Melody recalled. “Several women surrounded her, cried with her, listened to her, talked to her, prayed for her, held her, and promised their ongoing support as she realized that she is not, nor will she be, alone.”

Since joining Moms Demand Action in 2014, Melody has found friendships with other volunteers all across America. 

“This group of warriors understand my struggles because they are battling many of the same feats themselves,” she shared. “It is that understanding that unites us and strengthens us for the past, present, and future battles.”

Since the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings in May 2022, Melody and other volunteers have seen a shift in the gun violence prevention movement. New people are joining volunteers like Melody in the fight for a safer future, and legislators are listening. Congress passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a huge victory, the first major gun safety law in nearly 26 years. As Melody says, “Every little thing done that saves a life is actually a big thing!”

“Change is coming!  We will not stand by and continue to watch our loved ones sacrificed on the altars of greed, politics, and inhumanity. We are Moms! We will always fight! We will win!” 

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