Thank you God for people like Rob and Lucinda Boyd.
We all know our teenagers walk a fine line between good and bad. The bad seems to look so good when they are feeling lonely, hurt, rejected and abandoned. It then becomes even more important for them to "fit in somewhere", feel welcomed, needed, important and loved. Those who rule the streets spot these "needy" kids immediately, They are the sliest at making them feel accepted, loved, respected, and a part of this "new found family". This child does not realize what's taking place, what the real plan is that they have for him. Not unlike the Falcon who sights his prey and swoops in for the kill, the predators of the street sweep down on our lost, lonley or confused youth, to kill any memory of their past hopes, dreams, goals or aspirations. They swoop down before a child knows what's happening, making them believe they are now always welcome and needed by a "new and different "type" of family. A family with an important reason to band together, the wealth and prosperity of it's elders, the leaders. Unbeknowns to the child, they will be the family that will eventually lead them to serious permanent injury, prison, or death.
I get it Mr. Boyd. The scenerio sickens me as I have granchildren, both teenagers and little ones. We can't even turn our backs without worrying some pervert or drugged out person might hurt them. My Grandson can't even ride his bicycle to a friends home in their neighborhood, he has to stay on the sidewalk in front of their home for fear of "strangers".
This website is wonderful, and I will visit often. I will pass on the word of your website, your mission, and your book to everyone and anyone who will take a minute to listen. Perhaps one day our children will be able to play outside again without fear of hearing a gun shot, or seeing a deal being made a few feet away from them. Just maybe they will be able to skateboard, play ball, jacks or hopscotch, jump rope and at dusk even chase lightening bugs, all with the precious innocent they so deserve to hold on to. The innocence that has been stolen from them because they have to be warned to dangers that lurk around every tree on their block. Just this year, in Baltimore, we had two or three very young children hit by gunfire as they were playing with their friends in front of their own homes, or just walking in their neighborhood.
Not unlike the Falcon who sights his prey and swoops in for the kill, the predators of the street sweep down on our lost, lonley or confused youth, to destroy any memory of their previous hopes, dreams, goals or aspirations. They swoop down before a child ever realizes what's really happening, making them believe they are now enveloped and loved by a "new but different type of family", a family with important cause, a family that will always need them, one that will help them to become wealthy, well dressed and envied by their peers. Unbeknownst to them this is the family that will eventually lead them to serious permanent injury, drug addiction, murder, prison, or death.
I pray the day will come when once again a child can safely play in his own front yard, on the sidewalk, or even on a quiet steet. Will there ever be a time again when we can sit outside our home and watch our kids play on a summer evening? Does anyone remember that peaceful, happy feeling that came over us as we listented to our kids outside playing, laughing and singing together. The smiles and greetings we exchanged with our neighbors, as everyone gathered outside on a hot summer evening to catch a breeze and watch our children play. Perhaps on those nights the teenagers were on the porch talking to their friends, and we would do our best to hear their conversations over those boom boxes. The conversations among them were filled with bragging about their latest "love", a date they went on, a carnival coming to town, or their expectations of the next school year.
Can we save our youth, their futures, their lives? Will we ever be comfortable and safe in our neighborhoods again? Not when "the streets don't love you back".
Mr. Rob and Mrs. Lucinda Boyd, may God bless and watch over you and yours. Thank you for your passion, dedication and hard work to save our youth. God had a reason he chose you both to walk without fear in your fight for the right of our young people to know and hold on to the belief that they have a right to, and can work hard toward a successful and rewarding life. Thank you for spreading the word about the horrible results of our lost innocent youth taking the wrong path. The path that leads to gangs, drugs and death of spirit and sometimes the beginning of the end of their lives.
I will pray for you both, all of our families, and our beautiful children. I will be spreading the word of your movement, your website, and your book.
Kind regards and Respectfully submitted,
Sharon Lee Applegarth Simmons-Keller