Stop the Violence Prayer Chain Foundation
We better not fight or Pastor Guy will make us hug,” says one youngster to another.
If avoiding a hug leads to peace, Margaret Guy, 69, is all for it.
Guy is the founder and executive director of Stop the Violence Prayer Chain Foundation. Founded in 2014, the nonprofit aims to stop the cycles of violence in underprivileged communities by teaching youngsters age 4-14 to help others, to learn the value of an education, and to gain confidence by exploring sites outside their communities and challenging themselves.
When children succeed our communities also thrive, says Guy. “The community benefits because the children are learning how to grow up to be educated, productive citizens. They will be an asset to the community, not a burden.”
Since its inception, the foundation has helped more than 200 youngsters by offering educational and social services. Throughout the year, the kids assist with food and clothing drives, visit senior centers, and make regular trips to Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Currently, there are 32 children in the organization.
To raise money for their annual bus trips, the kids hold car washes as well as conduct raffles and sell baked goods. Their travels include Niagara Falls in Canada, the 9/11 Memorial, and the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Ohio.
“It (the foundation) helped me gain confidence and maturity,” says Louise Jones, 22. Although shy as a youngster, Jones participated in A Child’s Point of View. In the TV show, created by the foundation, the kids interview community leaders, including politicians. The show runs on Comcast Channel 190 and on YouTube. The program is currently conducted on Facebook Live.
To reinforce its message of ending the cycles of violence, every Sunday Guy holds a peaceful march and prayer in the inner city.
Last spring, the nonprofit received the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award. However, it was also forced to shut its doors on N. Church Street due to a funding shortfall caused by COVID-19. The organization could no longer pay its rent.
“I will not give up on these children,” says Guy. “We lost our community center due to job loss and our main [supporting] businesses closing down. We are looking for another program space, but do not have the funds for it right now.”
Currently the group meets in the building they used to rent. “We are in partnership with the new tenant, Holistic Elevation, LLC,” says Guy.
Despite the hardship, Guy and six other adult foundation volunteers continue to give away food and clothing as well as provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. The reopening of some of their business partners along with donations make the giveaways possible.
At Christmas, the foundation usually feeds dinner to 30-40 families. This year, however, instead of setting up tables and serving the meal, the kids will help deliver donated boxes of food and help sort donated toys. Last year, the group gave away more than 570 toys.
“It’s such a blessing to be able to continue to help others when you are struggling to stay afloat yourself,” says Guy.
Last spring, the nonprofit received a $2,500 grant from the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund. It used the money to buy food, cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for the children and families.
Foundation partners include Janssen’s Market, Wawa, Walmart, R.C. Fabricators, Inc., KFC, HVAC Corporation, ShopRite, The Kenny Family Foundation, The Journey Church in Newark, as well as local corner stores and people in the communities.
— For more information visit prayerchainfoundation.org or find them on Facebook.