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762

Before we get too much further into the New Year, I have to take time to acknowledge the 2016 record-breaking violence in the city of Chicago. 762 represents the number of shootings that occurred in that city last year. More surprisingly than that, 61 of those shootings occurred on Christmas Day. There have been many attempts to curb the violence but as of yet, nothing has worked. I chose to make this post to offer my condolences to all the family members, friends and to the community of those who were lost or wounded. 762 is a large number. I'm sure my words give you little comfort but please know that my heart aches with you and my mind works overtime thinking of solutions that could possibly make a difference. To the City's West Side: I am sorry you do not see hope in your situation. I am sorry that options are scare. I am sorry that you feel unheard. I am sorry that you feel defeated. I am sorry that your lives aren't valued. I am sorry that gangs have overtaken your community. I am sorry that the lives of infants and children aren't cherished. I am sorry for all the lives that have been lost or forever changed by senseless violence.  I pray for hope in your situation. I pray for more options for you to choose from. I pray that you use your voice to speak your truth. I pray that you realize your value. I pray for victory in your lives. I pray that you know you are worthy. I pray that gang violence is eliminated. I pray for the lives of your children and their families. I pray that your community is revitalized. Praying for Peace, Melissa

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