Church members unite to fight violent crime

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – A local group that supports families of murder victims says it's seeing a disturbing trend -- too many young people fallen victim to violence.

Members of the group say enough is enough! They're calling on the community to get involved and make a difference.

"We've been hit hard by homicides -- losing our young people. They're fighting, it's violence, retaliation, it's anger," said Terronda Johnson.

Johnson is a member of Sisters Reaching Sisters -- A Celebration of Life. The organization is made up of members of several churches in the Tri-Cites.

"We try to bridge the gap between the church, families, community, by praying with them, supporting them, e-mails, cards, phone calls we do visits," said Johnson.

Tamara Claiborne has lost four family members within the last year -- including her cousin who was shot at a Richmond night club back in May. She calls the organization, divine.

"They check up on me. I think it would have been worse because I was ready to shutdown. They help me keep my spirit up," said Claiborne.

Quinton Jones knows her pain first hand. His 19-year-old brother, Dontay, was shot in Hopewell in July.

"I miss him a lot. I think about him every day," said Jones.

Unfortunately, Johnson says the organization is seeing an increase in need for its services.

"I wish we didn't need to exist for this purpose -- just because of the numerous homicides we're having in this area back to back to back to back this ministry is growing in demand," said Johnson.

Members say if more people stand-up to violence more lives would be saved. The organization also provides free counseling, food, and even legal help to families of victims of violent crimes. If you'd like to get involved contact Infinite Ministries in Petersburg at 722-2700.

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