Originating in Richmond, Virginia; Too Many Org. is an up and coming non profit created by Paris Sommerville in 2013. In the wake of all the tumultuous current events and what seems to be an attack on our people and youth, |Too Many| is not negating or ignoring the fact there is a problem with how our people are viewed and treated in society but more so aiming to take some responsibility for the things we may see or hear about on a day to day basis right in our own back yards.

Although based in Richmond, Va |Too Many| has the ability to reach neighborhoods and hearts all over the nation. In the Peninsula area of Hampton Roads where I’m from there have been at least 25 teenagers killed since 2010 with the numbers constantly rising each year. Within the last year alone there have been teenagers closely connected to the youth in my family who have either been shot and survived or killed due to gun violence by their peers.

Change has to start somewhere and the best place is in our own homes. We may not be parents, aunts, uncles, or teachers but we all have access to at least one child or teenager on a regular basis. All of my life I’ve heard the adage “it takes a village to raise a child” and the concept became clear as I became older and transitioned into adulthood. We all know on a deeper level what has happened to our family structures and the broken nature of our spirits at times. I believe what’s missing is genuine and unconditional love. People diminish and overlook the power that love possesses and in our communities often display love through things and acquisitions as opposed to pouring into someones spirit and just simply giving time.

It’s never too late for any of us but if we can keep the hearts of our youth pure and their minds innocently full of creativity while reinforcing that there are no limits on their dreams and capabilities then I believe we can raise up an entire generation of leaders and servants that can change the world.

I am doing this for the young men in my family who need to know they are valued and loved. I am doing this to instill the confidence in them that they are more than the things they possess and how the world may view them. I am doing this to let them know it is okay to love and be vulnerable because our strength lies there. I am doing this to instill in them that their manhood is not determined by the amount nor type of woman they may have on their arm. I am doing this for the younger males in my family to show them its okay to dream and be creative and have an endless imagination.

I am doing this for the young women in my family so that they know their worth and don’t aimlessly seek it in the approval of a partner. I am doing this so that they know they don’t have to depend on a partner for anything other than moral support while they pursue their dreams and to love them genuinely for who they are. I am doing this to teach them self love and acceptance on a path to self sufficiency.

I vow to be an example to not only the youth in my family but the youth I come in contact with on a regular basis. I vow to be an example not of perfection but fearlessness, confidence, service, love, and humility. I vow to always be my best and make time for those who may need me. I vow to be a listening ear and an open book not shielding them from the world but playing a part to equip them for what may come when they are out in the world. I vow to not demean their dreams and support their efforts. I vow to not be a crutch but a tool to aid in self sufficiency. Most importantly I vow to love and honor them as people and not negate their existence because they are merely “children”.

Image-1

Please support |Too Many| by viewing their short documentary available on their website or by clicking here. I am looking forward to being a vessel for this movement and working with them in any capacity in the near future. In their own words, this is what |Too Many| is all about:

Our mission is to increase the guidance of African American youth with more mentors who will direct them to paths that lead to a successful, long and prosperous life free of violence.

We are all mentors be it by choice or force, our youth look at the moves we make, the things we take interest in, and the things we make time for. Let’s make better choices, be better people, and just simply take the time. These children watch our every move and look up to us far more than we know. It’s no longer about “do what I say and not what I do”. That concept needs be thrown in the trash so many other statements that ignorantly lead us into indirectly steering our youth down a path of destruction.

They are watching our moves, listening to our words, and thus becoming extensions of us. So remember the things you feel you don’t like about our up and coming generations are direct results of the actions or lack thereof of our generation and the ones before. We have to break the cycles and waiting on others is not going suffice, we must take a stand for our children and use our voices so that they will know it’s okay for them to have one as well.

Of course donations are more than welcome but awareness is key; you can support by donating funds or simply just spreading the message. Email the good folks at |Too Many| letting them know why this is important to you and your reasons for doing it. Take the pledge and post yourself and sign containing the TooManyOrg hashtag (#TOOMANYORG) to your social networking pages. It’s time to stop criticizing and complaining and start being active participants in doing.

When you do head over to take the pledge be sure to inform them that you found out about the organization via our site or one of our social media pages.

If you are interested in finding out more please visit their website or various social media pages:

About The Author