Radio personality Michael Adrian Davis put it plainly:
“I just want to help in some way.”
Davis was among those who answered the call to meet up Monday night (Nov. 20) at Bloomfield Baptist Church at 123 S. Parkway West. The summons of sort was issued by the church’s pastor, the Rev. Ralph White, in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of 10-year-old Richard Jordan II, who was killed during a so-called drive-by shooting at Airways and Ketchum on Nov. 13.
Awaiting his turn to speak, Davis stepped forward to address the importance of re-development and giving back to the community.
“I recently bought the old Casey Motel,” Davis said. “I would like to possibly use it as a shelter for those in need. ”
Speakers gave voice to several other ideas, with the common denominator being showing love to those deemed to need it desperately.
“I’ve been down this path before, so I understand. At the end of the day, all I needed was love,” said Stevie Moore, a turned-his-life-around ex-felon, who founded the non-profit Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives (F.F.U.N.) in 1983 to “provide holistic alternatives for at risk urban communities to deter crime and negative behavior.”
Twenty years later, Moore and F.F.U.N. came out with the Stop the Killing Initiative after his son was killed leaving a nightspot.
Speaking Monday night, Moore said, “Let’s take these old abandoned houses and turn them into gardens. …We can take food and disperse them to those in need,” he said. “Let’s give the youth something to do. We’ve failed them. It’s everybody’s fault. We can blame one another all day, but who’s willing to change the problem?”
White said, “We must do better individually, so we can be better together.”
Attendees nodded their agreement.
“It’s like nobody cares these days and everybody is afraid of one another,” White continued. “We need to change that.”
White announced the “God So Loved Initiative.” The mission is to take back communities spiritually, socially, physically and economically.
“It’s time that we actually go in these communities to see what their needs are, and what we can do to help,” he said. “If we can physically go and provide resources and help to those needing them, this could be a positive turnaround for the city.”
Starting with the Riverview-Kansas area, the Men of Bloomfield (M.O.B.) will spend seven days and seven nights in the community on a monthly basis. The plan is to talk to young men and women and establish an ongoing presence by offering spiritual, social and recreational activities for the youth.
The next M.O.B meeting is scheduled for December 4 at 6 p.m. at Bloomfield Baptist Church.
“Everybody is welcomed to join,” said White. “Remember, we’re all in this fight together”.
(For more details on the God So Loved initiative, contact Rev. Ralph White at 901-481-3320.)