To the Wichita Community:
Shortly after the Orlando mass murder at the Pulse nightclub, the Wichita community came together in a rare and unique way. A fundraiser was planned in a very short time, every bar owner stepped up to the plate, every person who could be contacted in that brief time responded and almost $10,000 was raised. Of that money, half went to the fund for people who were yet hospitalized and without a job at Pulse, and the other half went directly to the family of one of the victims.
The family was that of Luis Vielma. A family that has struggled to raise a family with both parents working minimum wage jobs in restaurants, and sharing a two-bedroom house with three kids. Because of the generosity of the Wichita community, the Vielma family just moved into a home big enough to offer Kimberly her own bedroom for the first time in her life. You might recall that Kimberly is the sister who didn’t get to have her quinceanera so that the family could properly bury Luis.
There are many things that could divide the Wichita community, and yet we are capable of so much more. I am so very proud of the people who sat on the planning committee for this event. Every single bar owner in the city was in attendance at least one time. That speaks volumes about what we are capable of should we decide to work together. Many thanks to all who helped and contributed. I will refrain from naming people since I will surely leave someone out.
From the bottom of my heart and the hearts of the entire Vielma family, thank you Wichita for your love and generosity. You have truly changed lives by your giving.
Rev. Jackie Carter
Table of Hope MCC