COURTESY OF CHINTA STRAUSBERG
Chicago–Pastor Ira J. Acree, head of the St. John Bible Church and co-chair of the Leaders Network, late Wednesday night committed to donating 50 toys to 10-year-old Samuel Love’s disaster project designed to give toys and/or gift cards to children who were victims of natural disasters.
Love, who is a fourth grader at the Beasley Academy Center, 5255 South State Street, is holding his second toy drive on Black Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his grandmother’s restaurant, Josephine’s Cooking, 436 E. 79th St., where proceeds will go to children who were victims of the Oklahoma and Denver, Colorado flood and tornadoes.
On November 29, 2013, commonly called ‘Black Friday,’ young Love will be accepting unwrapped toys and/or gift cards at the restaurant formerly called Captain Hardtimes. His grandmother, Josephine “Mother” Wade, will be serving free homemade soup to anyone donating a toy and/or a gift card.
Acree, who is author of “In Pursuit of Mr. Right,” said, “For a child to have a heart to want to do something of this magnitude, it’s evident that he’s special person. For this to be Black Friday and he is more concerned about others rather than himself speaks volumes about his character and his heart. This kind gesture is the epitome of selflessness.
“Our community desperately needs these types of selfless acts if we ever truly plan to recover from the madness that we face daily. I’ve already been attacked for pledging to support this effort. The question was asked why send gifts to Oklahoma or Colorado when people are hurting in Washington Illinois. I personally have already committed our church to supporting those relief efforts but even if we hadn’t, by virtue of the fact that a child has a heart and the spirit to think on this level and magnitude compel me to support and go the extra mile.
“The older generation of leaders must look for younger leaders to pour into and to encourage. Rev. Jesse Jackson was a college student under Dr. King, the godfather of soul; James Brown let the boy preacher 10 year old Rev. Al Sharpton follow him around. The prophet Jeremiah was also just a boy when God called and anointed him. Trust me on this, this kid’s action is God ordained,” said Pastor Acree.