Christmas is about family. This year, our family is focused on three of our own: Trayvon, Raymon, and Kyle.
Trayvon, Raymon, and Kyle are brothers. They’re related to one another the same way they’re related to us, not by blood, but spirit. They’ve been part of our family since 2012.
We’ve seen them grow from playful boys to responsible young men, while navigating challenging, complicated, and complex realities; the likes of which create compelling fundraising campaigns: poverty, fatherlessness, hunger, homelessness, teenage parenthood, escaping the grasp of gangs, the vortex of violence, the clutch of crime; the list could literally go on and on.
Still, what we’ve discovered about our brothers is not only the will to overcome, but a zeal, a determination, to become …to become more. More than the confinements of their context and circumstances and more than the elementary expectations equated with what they exemplify: young, black men in America.
The last five years have been a privilege and we’ve received more from Trayvon, Raymon, and Kyle than we've given; we’ve given money and received hard and willing work, we’ve given meals and received conversation, we’ve given rides and received friendship, we’ve given homes, and beds, to rest in and we’ve received the joy of a little more time with these wonderful young men, we’ve given embraces to welcome, ears to listen, shoulders to cry on, and we’ve received courageous vulnerability and arresting authenticity.
And while we have their permission to launch this fundraiser and write this description, we don’t want to compromise their confidence, so there are many undisclosed details. Still, we do feel the need to clarify what we’re asking for; in the short-term, cash; in the long-term, partners.
In the short-term we’re raising $10,000 to help pay for Raymon and Trayvon’s quickly approaching Spring semester’s tuition at USI and a furnace in Kyle’s Mom’s home. Obviously, that’s Kyle’s home as well, but it also serves as an anchor, a cornerstone, a stable home base for Trayvon and Raymon. Any amount exceeding $10,000 will be managed for other immediate essentials and all disbursements will be communicated.
In the long-term, we are seeking partners. You know how the old adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, if you understood the villages these children were from, you would be as eager as we are to honor their desire to venture beyond their villages and invest in their bright and beautiful futures.
No man is an island, we all make up a village. Thank you for being a part of ours, which is more and better because of you and because of Trayvon, Raymon, and Kyle.
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