The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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Pastor Price: Chicago’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Responder

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I interviewed Pastor Donovan Price in an attempt to learn more about the most devoted member of Chicago’s community. What I heard from him proved not just his devotion, but his inspiring love for his neighbors. 

He is Chicago born and raised. A gun violence victim/advocate. A street pastor — someone who cares for his community. The soul of his work is to arrive on the scene just 20 minutes after shots fired. He follows the family of the victim to the hospital. He identifies the body of the deseased alongside them at the morgue. He offers help with funeral services and emotional counsel for the families for the rest of their lives. He is a source of contact and constant communication for however long they need. He is truly an example of the best of humanity, working tirelessly at every step to give help to those who need it most. 

I was taken aback at his mere job description. I sat speechless on the other end of the phone for a moment. Although it was something I’d seen written out before, the stories he told were a testament to the humanity and strength of a community. 

Pastor Price is currently working on a toy drive for a family of seven children (which you can help with, details at the end of the article).  However, this is not the first time Pastor Price has been in contact with this family.  The children’s grandmother once saw her son shot just fifty feet away from her doorstep. Her wish is that her grandkids, who she has recently been able to legally adopt, will feel safe and protected. She wants their holiday to be bright. That is what Pastor Price is here for. 

Through a friend of his, he was able to secure a five bedroom home for a family of seven children, who will also be getting holiday goodies. He hopes that their first Christmas in a new home will be filled with hope and laughter. A chance to start anew, so graciously provided by Pastor Price. 

He referred to himself as “a different kind of first responder.” He wants people to know that “We’re out here!” There are people doing actual grassroots work against gun violence in Chicago, and he wishes more people were aware of the services he offers. Price also works to change the narrative around Chicago gun violence. It our interview, he specifically recognized the mothers of the victims. He believes that if people saw the familial aspect to the face of Chicago violence, there would be a change in the way gun violence is viewed and reported. 

He says, “They aren’t just ‘people from the hood,’ they’re just like you and me. They want their family to come home too.”

In the spirit of the holidays, Pastor Price recounted some of his favorite Christmas memories, such as childhood midnight masses (a Christian church service), and early mornings spent tearing apart wrapping paper. And as much as he loved receiving gifts, he made sure to emphasize the true meaning of the season: love and hope. We are called to serve and protect one another. We are called to help and devote ourselves to one another. These ideals have influenced his particular love of the season, just as they’ve influenced the students of Whitney Young. 

In living like Pastor Price, Whitney Young club Students Demand Action has decided to assist Dr. Price (yeah, he’s also a doctor) in his toy drive this holiday season. There are posters surrounding the school with details on how to bring a toy to school (scan the link on the poster for the google sheet), and scan the QR code below to see a spreadsheet with instructions on what to buy and where to leave it. 

Thank you for all your help this holiday season. 

When we live with hope and love, we will make a true impact.

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