Thank You!

Dear Friends,

On behalf of Let The Healing Begin, Inc. (LTHB), thank you immensely for supporting our 10th annual Pre-Mother's Day Brunch on May 4, 2019. This year over, 170 community members from Greater Boston neighborhoods that have been impacted by gun violence and its aftermath united at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, MA. This year’s gathering focused on gun violence from a public health perspective. Our Keynote speaker, Massachusetts State Representative Dr. Jon Santiago, gave a heartfelt faith speech while also sharing insights from his experience as an emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center, New England's largest trauma center.

Other moments included Live gospel music, Christian comedy, liturgical dance, and inspiring words from a mother whose young son just accepted a 25-year plea deal. Seeing the variety of smiles and tears is a reminder how committed LTHB is to the work we believe in and who we serve. In addition, we were able to raise funds to contribute towards GED exams, youth summer jobs, backpacks with school supplies, holiday gifts for children, and more.

Thank you immensely to every corporate sponsor or contributor. Special thanks to each professional sports team that donated in-kind autographed sports memorabilia, it was extremely popular with raffle ticket purchasers. We are also extremely grateful to everyone that volunteered or played a role in making the event successful and memorable. Most important, we are touched by everyone that has welcomed Let The Healing Begin into your hearts and strive to play even a modest ongoing role in addressing gun violence and its aftermath.

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."

 

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Let The Healing Begin, Inc. (LTHB) is immensely grateful to all that supported us throughout the year and during the holidays. Your generosity enabled us to brighten the holiday season for children impacted by the loss of a loved one due to violence or incarceration, and we would not have been able to do this without you. As we reflect on 2018, your support has enabled us to:

  •    Make a monetary donation to contribute to advance HiSet (GED) exam opportunities for disadvantaged youth

  •   Provide holiday gifts to over 25 children in Massachusetts and 6 in Virginia

Thank you to the public safety and political leaders, pastors and churches and professional sports teams and volunteers that supported us in 2018 and great gratitude to every corporate contributor and community partner. Above all thank you to all that welcomed LTHB into your hearts. Your prayers, participation and support fuel our efforts.

 

Wishing you blessings in 2019 and beyond.   

 

Thank you

You helped to make Let The Healing Begin, Inc.’s (LTHB) May 5, 2018 9th annual Pre-Mothers’ Day brunch a memorable and motivating event for the 135 in attendance and to ignite and inspire ongoing efforts to address the irreplaceable generational loss resulting from gun violence and youth incarceration throughout Boston communities. Boston Suffolk County Sheriff, State Representative and District Attorney candidate participation energized collective resolve to save lives and salvage futures and church leaders fortified faith.  LTHB will be forever grateful to every community member, corporation, church, hospital, public safety official, politician and professional sports team that helped us to unite those impacted by homicide and youth incarceration. However, our greatest gratitude goes to those that have lost loved ones to homicide or youth incarceration and publicly shared their stories, sorrow and strength.

Also, Congratulations to our Southwest Airline tickets winner, Doris Beechman!

I Will Bless the Lord: Dellvanee Blake-Nelson

I will bless the lord at all times. His praises will continually be in my mouth.

Six years ago I couldn't say these words and mean it from my heart. They were mere words to me because I was mourning for my son. Yes! Mourning. In most cases, mourning is when we lose a loved one to death, but in this case, I was losing my son to prison. I have been through rain, I have been through storms, I have been through muddy waters. My son is still incarcerated and I don't know when he will be free, but I thank God because he gave me hope, and he has blessed me in so many ways along this journey.

Thank you Jesus!

Perceptions

By Akeem King

Hi, my name is Akeem King and I would like to tell you that there is a very thin line between perception and reality. Sometimes what we see or think we see is often what we believe. Sometimes what we believe or think we believe ultimately becomes what we see.

There was a time when my life was this big fun house mirror. The one you would find at a circus or a fair, where the image you see is all twisted and distorted. Like many young boys today, I had no conscious understanding of who I was or what I wanted in life. I had no drive and no clear goals or definite expectations for my future.

My life was in influenced by the sub-culture of the streets and the lack of real male guidance within my community. Since I never personally knew anyone who went to college, the idea of having an education and its importance to not just a young black male but to anyone seeking social importance and financial security had never crossed my mind.

I strongly believe that the absence of real male guidance and lack of education really caricatured my perception and consequently my reality so much that my ignorance and immaturity lead me to play a role in an act that resulted in a young child losing his life and it was at that point in my life when the fun house mirror completely shattered into a million pieces and for years now, there are lines throughout my mirror from where it was once broken and whenever I look into that mirror I recognize that. “There is a very thin line between perception and reality.”

Cracks within one’s mirror often make it difficult to not just see but truly understand that in order to Let the Healing Begin we have to challenge ourselves because how much of our perceptions come from presumptions. If a mother was to stand in front of her mirror and put on a dress for her son’s funeral, what would she see? If another mother was to stand in front of her mirror and put on a similar dress for her son’s arraignment, what would she see? These are just some of the questions that I often reflect on whenever I try to think about the pain and suffering I have caused to my victim’s family and the pain and suffering I have caused to my own family (especially my mother) or whenever I look around the prison yard and the chow hall at the black and brown faces of young men who look like me and whose lives tell a story equal to mine.

If only I could stand them in front of their mirror, ask them what they see and then explain that there is a very thin line between perception and reality.

A Special Thanks From Our 2017 Pre-Mother's Day Brunch

On behalf of let The Healing Begin, Inc. (LTHB) and the 100 community members that attended our 8th annual Pre Mothers’ Day brunch fundraising event held April 29, 2017 at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, MA, Thank You tremendously for your donation. Your support contributed towards making a positive difference in lives of families of homicide victims and youthful offenders. Whether it’s the incomparable grief of homicide or the immeasurable anguish inherited from a youthful offender’s actions, distress is not mutually exclusive. Spirits were uplifted as families united to share strength, sorrow and resolve to address a common crisis. Massachusetts state elected official, clergy, and motivational speaker participation along with support from local professional sports teams, corporate and community contributors made this year’s event a very memorable and beneficial experience. Shared personal testimonies from those affected by a cycle of violence and incarceration plaguing Boston communities will not soon be forgotten.  Again, eternal thanks’ for your support and God bless. 

 

Thank you thunderously and God Bless.

Sincerely,

Denise Whitley, LTHB President and Founder

 

Reflections

The "Let the Healing Begin" Pre Mother's Day Brunch, was an amazing experience. To see women who have lost families members to violence and women who have lost sons to a lifetime in prison come together to mend their hearts and souls, by releasing their pain together was a beautiful thing to witness. I know that the hurt probably doesn’t ever go away, but it was nice to see that there was a process through faith and God, that helped them move closer to peace and healing. ~Antoinette Thomas

A Special Thanks From Our 2016 Event

Thank you immensely for supporting Let The Healing Begins' (LTHB) 7th annual Pre-Mothers' Day Brunch, held April 30, 2016 at Lombardo's in Randolph, MA.

On behalf of the 180 people that attended the event and the countless families affected by a cycle of violence and incarceration plaguing Boston communities, you have our endless gratitude. Your support contributed to making the event memorable and emotionally moving, as well as helping to motivate many to play an ongoing role, no matter how modest, in addressing a massive social problem that is jeopardizing futures in Boston communities. Strength was gained through shared sorrows and inspiration through shared success. Families experiencing the incomparable grief of victimization and the immeasurable anguish associated with a criminal offense united and stakeholders in hurt became shareholders in hope.

Thank you thunderously and God Bless.

Sincerely President LTHB 

Click here to see pictures from this event.

I Remember…

Let The Healing Begin has grown in such a supernatural way. I remember setting up tables and chairs and transforming a church sanctuary in to a banquet space. I remember leading praise and worship with nervous sweaty palms afraid that I had chosen the wrong song for the occasion. I remember pre-planning and prayer meetings at Denise's house