the soul box project

Rockville Family Helps Honor Gun Violence Victims

“You’re making a physical item, and it’s contributing to this larger movement"

NBC Universal, Inc.

A family in Rockville, Maryland, is taking part in an organization responsible for crafting origami art projects to honor the lives lost to gun violence.

Melissa Golladay and her family helps transform pieces of paper into symbolic origami boxes as part of The Soul Box Project.

“This was something really tangible that I could do,” said Golladay. “You’re making a physical item and it’s contributing to this larger movement.”

The Soul Box Project was founded by Leslie Lee after the Las Vegas mass shooting, and the mission continues to spread across the country, just as it does inside Golladay's Rockville home.

Lee wanted to come up with a way to commemorate people’s names so they do not just become numbers.

“Every time you fold one of these boxes, I encourage people to think, ‘Okay, I just held space for somebody who was shot in the last 15 minutes,’” said Lee.

One goal of the project is to display the boxes on the National Mall once the pandemic is over.

“It’s not a protest, it’s not a rally, we’re not making a bunch of noise,” said Lee. “What we’re doing is very solemnly and respectfully honoring these deaths.”

Golladay feels creating the boxes is therapeutic and a really productive means of unifying people around an important cause.

The organization now holds virtual folding events on Zoom to continue fostering community.

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