A few weeks ago, MyBrownBaby contributor Nick Chiles wrote a beautiful, heartfelt “love” letter to the 11-year-old girl who was gang raped in Cleveland, Texas a post that received a shout-out on TODAY Moms, got more than 3,000 FaceBook shares and, most importantly, drew almost 200 comments full of encouraging words and prayers for the child and her family.
Since the post ran, another man has been charged, bringing the total number of boys and men charged in the girl’s rape to 19. It’s also been discovered that the girl was attacked not just once, but on several occasions during a three-month span beginning in September 2010; that her mother suffers from tumors on her brain that have gone untreated for a year because she doesn’t have healthcare; that her father, a carpenter, has suffered severe depression since injuring his back and being put out of work last year; that the little girl is still being hidden in a foster care home while the town gnashes its teeth and implicates this 11-year-old child in her own rape; and that the family, poor and destitute, has been forced to uproot their other kids and move to an undisclosed location where they have no furniture and little money to survive.
After reading this story in the New York Times, I took a chance and reached out to Brenda Myers, president of The Community & Children’s Impact Center in Cleveland, Texas, an organization that was a refuge for the little girl before she was attacked. My prayer was that she could somehow get Nick’s letter and the many other beautiful messages written here at MyBrownBaby to the little girl and her family to let her and her parents know that even if the people in her town couldn’t cloak her in love and support, there were plenty others who would. Brenda graciously reached out to MyBrownBaby in the comment section; I didn’t want you all to miss out on what she wrote, so I pulled it out and am publishing it here for you all to see. At the end of the piece is a listing, plus links, to organizations that are helping the family. I encourage you all to find it in your hearts to help this family in any way you can. Here, Brenda’s note:
My name is Brenda Myers and I’m The President of The Community & Children’s Impact Center in Cleveland, Texas. The 11-year-old girl was on my youth team along with her sisters and many friends. I have been interviewed by CNN, Channel 11, New York Times, GQ Magazine, radio interviews and more since this horrible news came to light. I was hoping that through me, having a voice for the children in my community, people all around the world hearing this story would understand that we are not all bad people in Cleveland, Texas, that our hearts are broken and that we intend to fight back in a positive way to let this child know we are not going to let this rape go unnoticed and that we are taking a stand for her and all rape victims for that matter.
You have no idea how much your story and the comments of your readers have touched my heart. I am in every day contact with this family and I will make sure the family gets this amazing story. A lot of people are trying to make this a racist issue; however, I work with some of the most amazing black organizations and people that it hurts me deeply when people use this as a excuse to hide the real truth and not address the needs and pain of this little girl. I was hit by a drunk driver in 2004 and God gave me a vision to help the children in my community. I started the Community & Children’s Impact Center in 2006. We have made a difference in hundreds of lives but due to the fact we live in a very high poverty area, the funding is tough. We have raised enough funds over the last five years to purchase a small piece of land and a van for youth transportation. We are working on raising funds purchase a culvert for a driveway and the building materials. We have no after school programs and no youth center for 40 miles in any direction. Our children are losing hope. God is sending me angels as we speak so I have to keep my faith and know someone is going to come one day to help me get this center. We then can make a tremendous impact in more childrens lives.
The little 11-year-old girl was part of this team and I feel if we would have had a safe place for her to go on a daily basis this may not have happened. I feel her pain as well as I do the whole family because they are like family to me. I want each of your readers to know that the love and heartfelt spirit is being heard right here in Cleveland and it is making a positive impact. Please have your readers go to www.impactcenter.vpweb.com. Any suggestions or advice is welcomed. I appreciate your kindness and love for a child. You gave me more hope.
According to this Houston Chronicle story, Sylvia Gonzales, national vice president for the southwest region of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization for Latinos, is raising funds for the family. To see how you can donate directly to the family, email Gonzales at email@example.com. My hope is that between Brenda and Sylvia, we can help this family with not only our uplifting words, but financial support.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.
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Thanks for sharing this letter with your readers. I have kept her and her family in my prayers since reading the letter. It is amazing to me how folks can be so cruel to each other and then on the other end of the spectrum be kind, loving, and giving.
This story and all of the components surrounding never fail to bring tears to my eyes. This is such a heart warming part of this puzzle that has so few…thank you for this Denene (and Nick!)
these were monsters animals don’t act like this.as bad as ive heard of ms13 doing things.i have never heard of ms 13 or the bloods or cripts doing some this bad.now our tax dollars must feed them.it will all be vindicated;the esays and the bloods and the cripts will take care of these flithy rapist.all prisoners hate child molsters and rapist because they have familar of their own.they are trying to play the race card people don’t fall for it.give these guys just what they deserve.cornlius x can eat a dick too.just like his boys will be doing.so fellas i hope you enjoy your prison stay. anonymous
IAM TIRED OF US PUSSYFOOTING AROUND WITH RAPIST. IAM TIRED OF THEM BEING PROTECTED IN PRISON.WHY MUST THEY BE PROTECTED WHEN NOT ONE TRIED TO HELP THIS CHILD.THEY SAID ONE CALLED HIS GRAND MOTHER WHEN THE COPS GOT HIS ASS,WHY DIDNT HE LEAVE THE COMPANY HE WAS WITH?THEY ASKED WHERE WAS THE GIRLS MOTHER.WHERE WAS HIS GRAND MOTHER?I I TELL MY FIVE GRAND SONS ALL THE TIME THINK BECAUSE IF YOUR LITTLE FRIEND WANT TO COOK UP SOME KIND OF SCHEME THAT YOU KNOW IS WRONG YOU HAD BETTER BRING YOUR ASS HOME.THE WRATH THAT YOU WILL GET IN THIS HOUSE WILL BE WORST THEN BEING TEASED BY YOUR FRIENDS.THINK FOR YOUR SELF.HELP PEOPLE DONT HURT THEM.I CANT WAIT FOR THIS TRIAL TO START I ALREADY KNOW THERE WILL BE A CHANGE IN VENUE.THEY FOOLED PEOPLE WITH THE O.J.TRIAL O.J. LEFT A FINE BLACK SISTER FOR A WHITE WOMAN. WHEN HE NEEDED HELP HE RAN BACK TO US.JOHNNY TOOK ALL THE PICTURES OF WHITE FOLKS OFF HIS WALL.REPLACED THEM WITH BLACK FOLKS PICTURES BEFORE THE JURY GOT THERE, KILLING THOSE PEOPLE WAS WRONG AND BLACK PEOPLE FELL FOR IT.BLACK FOLKS DON’T LET MISTER CORNEILIUS X FOOL YOU THE DNA WILL COME BECAUSE THESE UGLY ASS FOOLS DONT HAVE THE MENTALITY OF A SLUG. BLOODS,CRIPTS,MS13 HAVE A GOOD TIME WITH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THESE FOOLS.I WOULD NEVER WANT TO DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE WHO KILLED MALCOM.OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE.WHY DIDNT THESE PARENTS CALL IN A ROLE MODEL FOR THESE RAPIST BEFORE THIS HAPPENED.HAPPY HUNTING MS 13.BLOODS AND CRIPTS. WE SHOULD BECOME LIKE OTHER COUNTRYS. YOU STEAL YOU GET A HAND CHOPPED OFF. WELL YOU GET THE PICTURE. HERE YOU HAVE TWO IN ONE RAPIST AND CHILD MOLESTERS SICK BASTARDS. LSD
What is the little girls name or is that being held for safety purposes? God bless her soul!!! No 11 year old girl can concent to sex so those guys saying ae concented know better. You’re still a child at that age. I can’t wait to see all 28 and of more get prison time and then face God for what they have done to girl. Her whole life she will remember this day. I’ll pray for her!