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Reaching out to the Ferry-Grider community after deadly shooting

Ferry-Grider Toy Gun Exchange
Posted at 8:00 PM, Jul 23, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A fun Friday night at the Ferry-Grider homes on Donovan Drive in Buffalo. Something that really hasn't happened here since a three-year-old was shot and killed, the day after the Fourth of July.

“They have been traumatized,” said Pastor James Giles, the CEO of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries. “They're not coming out to play. The seniors are not coming out. They're looking out their windows, but they're not coming out because they're afraid.”

A shooting death that has highlighted a deadly year of violence in the City of Buffalo. Groups like the Back to Basics Outreach, SNUG and Fathers throwing this this get-together, to show the community that they're cared for, especially the children.

“What we're trying to do here is bringing the neighborhood back, bring the community back. Let the kids know that we love him and we here for them, and that’s OK to come outside and enjoy yourself,” said Gary Dixon, the general council president for the BMHA Ferry-Grider Homes.

“We wanted to just lean into telling this community, we love you, we care about you, we have not forgotten you,” said Giles.

Part of the festivities include a toy gun exchange. The idea is to get to kids when their young and let them know how dangerous real guns can be.

“They don't realize, that unlike the games where you go, game over and you start again, you can't start over with people's lives,” said Giles.

“The more we put in their life on a positive side, is the more we get back from the next generation,” said Sid Sweat. He lives in the Ferry-Grider homes.

While this was a chance for fun, there were also social workers from ECMC on hand, to speak with any kids dealing with the trauma of the shooting.