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This fundraiser closed 5 months ago

Turning Point

"I was six years old and my dad took me to a gambling shack on 34th known to us as the Turning Point. The block was always full of husla and gangsta and pimps too. My dad picked me up on a Sunday morning to buy me shoes for school but stopped at the shack to meet his homeboy Slim. As soon as we got to the door, a man in a black three-piece suit and a blue hat came out holding his head. The man look down at me and fell to the ground dead. That was the day my dreams became about death." Willie M.

Willie faced a turning point. And he turned to what he was raised to do – gang banging. Willie grew up in the Crips gang and became a leader. He started his own set, the Tre Five Outlaws, and was a supplier of weapons to the Crips here in my neighborhood of Northeast Denver. He was sent to prison 16 years ago and was just released six months ago and walked through the doors of our prison aftercare ministry. At our church, we deal with over 1000 men coming out of prison every year.

In our city, young people are killed every year by gang violence. With the absence of fathers and the multi-generational DNA of gang life, many young people are recruited into an alternative family, the gang. Willie said to me, "I'll do anything to keep these little ones from doing what I did and joining the gang." He would like to positively influence them with the life and message of Jesus Christ. Willie wants to be a Turning Point in the lives of kids on the Eastside.

In prison, he dedicated his life to Christ and has been a testimony since he has been released. Willie has shown himself to be the cream of the crop. He accepts responsibility, takes initiative, and works hard. He has organized several events in the last two months – a fishing trip for kids, a recruiting event for fatherless kids to join Cub Scouts, and a Rockies game where he brought 35 kids. Willie knows how to start a gang!

Willie has helped in starting an urban chapter of Cub Scouts and it is already reaching 30 young boys. 2/3 of them know gang members. We need funding to keep the program going. We need $10,000 to help fund Willie's part-time salary and the costs of Cub Scouts which involves uniforms, books, supplies, transportation, etc. Would you consider being a Turning Point by donating to this cause?

Jason Janz

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