MEMPHIS, Tennessee (WMC) – It was another day for Larry Hunter and his ministry group Touched By an Angel Ministries, where a food drive took place in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, which Hunter has been doing this for over 15 years.
This one took place on the corner of Ketchum and Airways, and on this Father’s Day Hunter put extra emphasis on the importance of father figures in the fight against violent crime in the city.
“We want to encourage (the fathers) to step up,” Hunter said. “If fathers came forward and took control of their families, there wouldn’t be so many young men joining gangs.
A 2019 report from the Pew Research Center showed that the United States has the highest rate of children living in lone-parent households in the world.
This is something Memphis sees a lot, according to recent statistics from the US Census Bureau, showing tens of thousands of households with only one parent present.
When collecting food, Hunter was quick to congratulate the parents who have to take over when raising the family on their own.
“You know, there are women who are both father and mother,” Hunter said. “We just want to encourage them. We hear you, we see you, and we’re here for you.
One mom WMC Action News 5 spoke to was Tangila Jeffries.
It was the first time she had come to one of the readers of Touched By an Angel.
Jeffries has five children and told us the father was not present at the house.
“I try to raise my boys to be men, respectable, not gangsters, thieves. I want them to be like Mr. Larry, you know. Do something. Give back. “
Jeffries, however, hopes that her children can squeeze the influence of her loyal boyfriend.
“I’m a woman so I can’t show my boys how to be a man,” the mother of five said. “Only a man can teach a boy how to be a man, so it is very important to have a very positive male role model.”
With each passing event, Hunter believes these actions and words will have a lasting effect on reducing crime in Memphis.
Hunter said, “When I go out in the neighborhood, believe it or not, it takes a bite out of crime. “
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