LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A foundation that serves the Lansing area and helps young men learn skills to better their lives got a major donation to help continue their work.
What started as a parent’s worst nightmare has become a movement to help young men improve their lives and their communities.
“At the core of it, it’s about my son,” Michael McKissic says. “My son was murdered four years ago, August 1st. And what we did as a family, what we did, we turned that tragedy into something positive.”
The Mikey 23 Foundation takes young men off the streets and out of the criminal justice system and teaches them skilled trades. Today the organization got a major boost: a $24,000 donation to continue their work.
Donors from the group 100 Women Who Care say when it was time to pick an organization to support, Mikey 23 was a strong favorite because of their commitment to serving Lansing and their ability to take a heartbreaking situation and make it positive.
“When you think about 200 women in a room, there’s probably a lot of moms sitting there who also can’t imagine losing your child,” Nancy Colflesh said. “So I think, just from a heart standpoint, it struck them.”
“You can have a vision all you want,” McKissic said, “but to have finance behind your vision, you can really move things.”
The family says they’ll use the donations to renovate another Lansing home for people who need a place and resources to transition out of the prison system and into productive lives. For Mikey’s parents, this moment is bittersweet.
“I also would like justice for my son,” Mikey’s mother Sherry Malik said. “But as my husband continued, we keep reaching out to other people and that makes it worth doing.”
The family tells 6 News they also want to start a fund to help families pay for funerals after losing their loved ones to gun violence.