LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Lansing man honors the memory of his son by helping to make sure no family loses their child to violence ever again.
Michael McKissic lost his son Mikey in August of 2015, but rather than give up, McKissic and his family channeled their energy into the Mikey 23 Foundation.
Today, city of Lansing officials and the community came together to recognize how far that foundation has come.
The Mikey 23 Foundation was founded in honor of Michael McKissic II, also known as Mikey, who was shot and killed in 2015 while standing on the front porch of a home in Lansing.
Even though he’s gone, his legacy is living on through the foundation, which strives to give young adults a chance to turn their life around by learning a skilled trade.
“The last conversation that we had was, ‘Dad, I want to take over your construction company’,” said Michael McKissic.
Because of that dream, Michael McKissic turned his son’s hopes into a reality the best way he knew how.
“I started the foundation in his name so I want to keep his memory alive,” said McKissic.
The Mikey 23 Foundation started a little over two years ago and has grown into something much more than the founders thought it would, giving an opportunity for young adults to learn something new in the construction field.
But McKissic says those who participate in this effort learn more than just the skills needed to build a home.
McKissic says it brings people together by creating friendships, mentoring, and for this father, a home away from home.
“The relationship is a beautiful relationship, we’re teaching them how to be better men,” said McKissic.
McKissic says his foundation is important to keep kids focused on a better future.
“They just want to be a part of something and if we don’t let them be a part of something that’s positive, they’re going to be a part of something that’s negative,” said McKissic.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says what McKissic is doing is special for the community.
“Here’s a chance to have young kids go in, learn a trade, learn the skill, and utilize that as their career if they want,” said Schor.
Schor says that the government can’t fix every problem in the city, but with a foundation like Mikey 23, the city is taking a step in the right direction.
“We can’t do everything from the city, we can’t fix every house, and here we are with this independent group,” said Schor.
Lansing Police Lieutenant Robert Backus has seen this foundation grow and says it’s inspiring that McKissic turned such a tragic situation into a positive one for everyone who’s involved.
“To see how positive he is and the strides that he’s made to improve in other people’s life, I’ll do anything I can to help him accomplish his goals,” said Backus.
But McKissic says this foundation wouldn’t be possible without the help of the community.
“To see all these people here, it’s such a blessing,” said McKissic.
Mikey’s murder is still unsolved. Police say on that day in 2015, a party was just let out and people were walking by.
If you have any information, you can call Crime Stoppers; there is a $5,000 cash reward for a tip to police. They say every little bit of information counts.