A big stick is not always the answer - Juvenile Hall
My vote for Sacramentoan of the Year (the Decade) goes to Rhonda Erwin who singlehandedly works all of the hours of her life to give a voice to the troubled youth of Sacramento. She never ceases to amaze me. This is Sacramento's own Mother Theresa.
A couple of days ago, she reminds us that there are hundreds of kids lingering in Juvenile Hall, many of them with no family or friend support and that a small gift from someone in the community could teach them what being loved is all about. Maybe a book, a card, or something of small value could make all the difference in the lives of these troubled kids who are facing woeful futures.
As I have written previously, Pierre and I were given a chance to help a young adult boy who was in Juvenile Hall and we are strong believers that sometimes, and sadly too rarely, a small showing of support can change a young life for the better.
So back to Rhonda and her latest quest for the day. She writes:
Today I contacted Juvenile Hall facility to find out what wards need and can receive for the Christmas/ Holiday season.... MANY do not receive any visits, magazines, books... Please if you can donate books, magazines, crossword /scramble puzzles... (Bibles are available for the wards..I wish we could give personalized Bibles...but this idea just touched my heart and I don't think we will have time) The Chaplain mentioned how seeing youth (gang members) cry reading the Bible, young girls who are arrested after being on the streets (because they have no home...) these children need love and they need to see a community loving them.Today she sends more details - heartbreaking details:
I received many responses to the request for Christmas donations for the juvenile hall wards. AND I THANK each of you. Today I received a response that expands my heart. The family of 16yr-old September 22, 2006 murder victim Donte Walton emailed wanting to know where to drop off apples, oranges, baskets. The family has also offered to make baskets and wanted to know what type of books and magazines they can send. Donte's aunt wrote "it is really hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year with all that has happened to my family but I feel doing something anything to benefit someone in need would help me to move forward." ... This event is about more than showing love it will be about reaching out to educate, inform and doing so in the spirit of love. I previously mentioned I would like to make this an annual event. I would like the memory of Donte Walton to continue to live through giving. I would like the wards to know of the life and the tragic death of 16yr old Donte Walton. Perhaps through this families tragedy/suffering/heart a life will be saved, a life will be changed, a life will be affected. I didn't realize the family would receive the email and I would like to desperately make this event special for Donte, his family and all families who have lost a child as a result of youth violence.
Please contact Senior Chaplain Dan Thompson at 916-875-5050 or myself at 916-256-5975 for more information
Pierre and I are contributing. I hope many of you will also.
The Sacramento Executive