Last Friday, 3 Philadelphia children were killed when an SUV plowed into the fruit stand where they were volunteering. The vehicle was stolen by two young men, both of whom have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, among other things.
The homemade kiosk was selling fruit to raise money for a community park under the auspices of the Eagles Wings Evangelistic Church. The three children — Fifteen-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Joseph Reed and 7-year-old Terrence Moor — volunteered often at the small church.
The children’s mother, Keisha Williams, was injured in the accident and is listed as in critical condition in a nearby hospital. Funeral arrangements are pending until she is released. As of now, she is unaware that her children have died. Heartbreaking.
When attention is turned to that funeral, it will have to look at the expenses of a triple funeral. But that may not be a problem according to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams:
“I received a telephone call from Sixers legend Charles Barkley. Like most Philadelphians, many Americans and people across the world, he wanted me to know that he wanted to pay for the funeral for these three children and I put him in touch with the family so he can do that.”
If Charles Barkley’s gracious offer is accepted, that is one less worry for these children’s family. The former 76ers star would remove the onus of paying for the funeral through donations. This is important because, as one church member put it:
“People are afraid to collect money in this neighborhood. They are afraid they may get robbed if the word gets out — that’s how the neighborhood is.”
With Barkley’s help, that will no longer be a problem.
Just an aside, I had the pleasure of meeting Barkley a couple of years ago. The man I met was entirely in line with this touching gesture. I’m honored to say that.
Here is a report from the Philadelphia NBC affiliate:
Photo courtesy of The Daily Show.cc.com