By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mothers in Charge held their annual Evening of Healing in Center City Thursday night to remember the more than 300 murder victims in Philadelphia in 2012 as well as those from years past.

Families affected by violence are here to help one another heal emotional wounds.

Mothers in Charge founder Dorothy Johnson-Speight knows what they’re going though. Her son was gunned down in 2001.

“We can walk with them because we’ve been there,” Johnson-Speight said. “It’s very important to people who go though this awful experience to be supported by someone who understands where they are.”

Darnetta Green-Mason says Mothers in Charge saved her.

“The support and camaraderie of the other women and just being busy and helping to reach out to other mothers who are going through this,” she said. “It helps me to help someone else.”

A delightful buffet and a comedian helped put smiles on the faces of moms who just endured Christmas with an empty chair at the table.

This is just one night of mourning and support.

“The can make it. They can survive, in spite of the awful pain that they live with everyday… having a loved one murdered,” Johnson-Speight said. “They look forward to the support that we’re here to give them.”

She says the group spends the rest of the year working to stop gun violence in Philadelphia.