NORTH ST. LOUIS - Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department with the assistance of the R. Whittington Foundation and St. Louis Family Church delivered food and toys to families of those who were victims of homicide in 2017. The group wanted to bring a little cheer and make an impact this holiday season.
Organizers called the food and toy delivery a labor of love.
“I don't think any kid should go without having a Christmas gift. So for the last 18 years I have been doing God’s work in the community,” said R. Whittington.
“My heart is so burdened for all of the families that have lost love ones. I can’t conceive what they are going through, but our hope was this would be a boost,” said Pastor Jeff Perry .
The recent violence in the city of St. Louis is keeping detectives very busy. The murder rate is surging toward 200 for 2017. Saturday’s volunteer group saw a need to go to the front door steps of the families of those who were victims of homicides.
“We cannot image the burden that it has placed on those families. We are trying to let them know we are still thinking about them,” said Sgt. Ryan Cousins.
“I'm assigned to homicides cases, so I have a connection there and with a lot of the victims. This is just a way to let them know that we are still engaged and we are still there. We care,” said Sgt. Heather Taylor.
St. Louis Family Church Pastor Jeff Perry prayed for the victims and their families.
Twanna Herny lost her son Darnell Duff in April after he was guned down outside a north St. Louis bar and grill on Kossuth Street. Duff walked across the street where several people shot him.
”You never get over that pain. It’s something that’s always going to be with me,” said Henry.
Henry says just four months later her 26 year old daughter, Twanna Adams, died as a result of a shooting in the 5800 block of Wabada in north St. Louis. Three others were injured. All suspects were taken in to custody by police. Henry and the other families of victims say the gift delivery lets them know they are not alone.
“It means a lot to me and it lets me know that everyone does still care,” said Henry.
“It’s day of giving day of love. We are going to love on the community in a very big way,” said Whittington.