LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A family from Lansing that survived gun violence and a local church have come together for a good cause.

They’re asking for your help to help guide kids away from violence.

The organization is called Knights of Valor. It was created after the church held several funerals for teens killed by guns.

Survivors are hoping their stories will help guide kids to make better choices.

“A couple of years ago, I got shot in the head by some young man. And that’s a problem. It’s like the youth, they’re just out here doing what somebody else tells them to do,” said Ronnie Gray.  

He was shot eight times in 2021. Then 4 months later, his son was shot seven times.

They both survived.

Now, he’s using his experiences to help.

“I’ve seen things when I was growing up that the average kids nowadays shouldn’t see. A program like this would’ve definitely given me guidance,” said Gray.

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Knights of Valor was started by Gray and his wife, Erica. It uses a spiritual approach to teach kids life skills.

Bishop Nathaniel Thomas spent more than 20 years in the Marine Corps and law enforcement.
He is also the pastor at Mind, Body, and Soul Ministries in Lansing.

When Gray and his wife asked him about starting the program, Thomas felt it was his calling.

“So that we can teach discipline, structure, mentoring, tutoring, homework, were even gonna feed them. They might wanna go into trade or technical skills, we wanna gear and tailor fit our program to each youth,” he said.

Erica Gray believes programs like this can help teen survivors of gun violence. Just like her son who still struggles to this day.

“Just because they survived doesn’t mean they survived,” said Erica. “Having mental issues, having to have long-term things that they have to deal with.”

The program kicks off Tuesday and they are looking for volunteers, mentors and kids, along with donations for food, uniforms and other materials.

The more help they get, the more kids they can reach.

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Knights of Valor is for kids between the ages of eight & 18. There is still time to register.

The organizers also want to rent out the Schmitt Center in Lansing for space, but the center wants to charge them quite a bit to use it.

To find out how to register, volunteer, and donate, email, or call Erica Gray at 517-528-8375.