‘I was part of the problem, now I want to be part of the solution,’ G.A.N.G.S. hosts first Community Day

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Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2022 at 6:57 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Street ambassadors in the Midlands have come together to form an organization hoping to end gun violence, and today was the group’s first “Community Day,” which aimed to get a new generation started, in peace.

G.A.N.G.S.’s first community day was hosted by the Word of God Church and Ministries International, and ambassadors like Jack Frost, who have decided to rewrite their stories. Stories that began when they were gang members with a goal to help younger generations.

“Just to know everything I have been through, and to have kids come up under me and looking up to me like I’m their superhero, I want to let them know that there’s another way, and that don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Be better than me.” – Jack Frost, Street Ambassador of G.A.N.G.S. said.

The men involved are known as street ambassadors and are working to reach the young people in their areas to help prevent gun violence.

The street ambassadors say they have histories of gun violence in their pasts.

“I was part of the problem, and now I want to be a part of the solution,” Levar “Boobie” Baker said.

Part of the G.A.N.G.S. approach is hosting events like this one, which placed people of different backgrounds in the same, safe environment.

“We out here for the kids, and showing the community that we can work together and we can do it in a peaceful way,” Jack said.

And that peaceful way? Involves snow cones, video game rooms, new clothes, and fresh haircuts, all for free.

Ambassador “Boobie” Baker says he is a 7-time shooting survivor, and that this is all for one hope.

“That we can walk outside and not having to look over our shoulders worrying about getting gunned down on our front door steps… I am ready to see change,” Baker said.

A hope that is shared not just by the street ambassadors, but also by the church’s volunteers like Katrina DeMary who matched the crowd in a shirt that said: “all things new.”

“To see our children grow up, and see them grow up having fun rather than being concerned about life and whether something is going to happen. We are glad that they can see a positive event happening during the summertime that they will share with their friends and they will remember it in times to come. That’s our plan. That’s our prayer,” DeMary said.

The organization will also be bringing back “Midnight Basketball” which was a concept that originally began to help curb crime and give young people a place to be in the Midlands. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/gangsinpeace/

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