Frayser Girl's Thoughts: "Not To Get Shot"

MEMPHIS, TENN (localmemphis.com) - A call for action after a cry for help. A 9-year-old Frayser girl was asked to write what was on her mind. "Not getting shot" was second on the list.

Jada Gray is one of several at-risk kids who comes to Lifeline To Success nonprofit every day after school. Kids eat a meal, get help with homework, and participate in activities.

Pastor DeAndre Brown, the Executive Director of Lifeline, said it's time to stop failing our kids by making them fearful.

He said, "It tore my heart because she had courage where many adults don't have it." After reading the thoughts of 9-year-old Jada Gray, Brown posted her letter to Facebook.

"Number one to get her mom's van fixed. She's in the 4th grade. Number two not get shot. And then, by the way, get an education," said Brown, recalling Gray's words on paper.

"Every time I think about it just tears me apart," said Almeida Street, who works with the kids who come to Lifeline every day. Street came up with the idea for kids to write whatever was on their mind. When she read Gray's letter, she was deeply disturbed.

"You shouldn't think about that, but they do because it affects them," Street said.

Helping people improve their lives is Brown's calling. Now he's calling on others to look at the big picture and clean up crime for our kids.

"Who you are is what we need. Not what you have. Our job is to prove to her that that's not normal. You shouldn't have to hide in your closet; You shouldn't have to duck when you hear gunshots, You shouldn't hear gunshots in your neighborhood," said Brown.

Lifeline To Success Employees and volunteers plan to clean up around Whitney Manor Apartments Friday where Gray lives.

They said it's a start to helping her feel safe. 


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