‘The community must work together’
Last month, Genesis Community Foundation met with pastors, deacons and youth directors of 36 churches from Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar, Timmonsville, Florence and Society Hill to talk about the problem of violence in our communities. The group met in the Matthews and King Education Center, 115B Exchange St., Darlington. Churches in attendance committed to work with youth in their community to implement Character Education Programs and other activities to help keep youth off the streets and out of trouble. After welcoming the group for the evening, Mal Hyman, sociology professor at Coker University and chairman of the board of Genesis Community Foundation, told the group that Genesis Community Foundation was willing to assist them in implementing programs and activities for youth in their community. Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson said: “All of us are aware of statistics showing young people getting into trouble because they have nothing to do. We must get our young people before the streets get them. We must give them something positive to do.” Patsy Sawyer, executive director of Genesis Community Foundation, and organizer of the meeting, told the group, “The streets are waiting and watching to see whom they can devour. We must be waiting and watching to see whom we can take under our wings to train and teach to try to change attitudes and behaviors.” Darlington Chief of Police Kelvin Washington was unable to attend the meeting because of a prior commitment but Sawyer said he was on board with this endeavor and he said he would assist. Sawyer said: “We must all work together to change attitudes and behaviors. If we want the violence to stop in our community, the whole community must work together to make it happen. “Let’s do this. Join us. Invite other youth into your program, start a program for youth, volunteer or partner with a youth organization, and/or help fund a youth program or organization in your community. “Don’t just look the other way and ignore the problem because it’s not going away. It’s getting worse. Stop talking and do something. Do something! Whether you like it or not, youth are our future. What kind of future do you want? A future full of crime and violence or a future full of peace and harmony? “Think about it. Join your community and take action because it does take a village. We need more programs and activities for our young people. Join us. We can do this.” Any suggestions and ideas, call Genesis Community Foundation at 843-944-0291 (office) or 843-319-1837 (mobile).