Please help a grieving mother bury her son


My calling to live as a bridge-builder often situates me at the intersection of contrasting extremes. This week has been particularly grueling in that respect because death has been front and center. Death has a way of exposing the stark realities of racial and socioeconomic segregation more than anything else I’ve encountered. I’ll share two stories and then make an appeal.

I received an early-morning text from dear friend of mine yesterday that her beloved husband very unexpectedly went to be with the Lord the previous evening. It was shocking, devastating news. The outpouring of love and generosity in the midst of such a terrible event, though, was beautiful and moving. A steady stream of concerned people flowed through the house all day. By mid-afternoon, her refrigerator and pantry were full, the Meal Train Plus calendar was both set up and filled up for the next month, a prayer vigil was underway on the family’s front lawn, over $1000 had been raised, and people were starting to talk about setting up a college fund for her children.

In contrast, this past Sunday, my church prayed for a woman named Portia and her 14-year-old daughter. The two ladies have been experiencing a period of homelessness. My friend and fellow church-goer, Marshall Rancifer, who’s the Outreach Coordinator for Taskforce for the Homeless, found a way to temporarily shelter them at an extended stay hotel. And because she found employment recently, plans were underway to transition them to more permanent housing. Last Friday, however, Portia received news that her 23-year-old son had been murdered. She is overwhelmed with grief, but her network primarily consists of other impoverished people, and she doesn’t have anywhere near the $1,500 required for a basic burial and service. Her son’s remains are at the Raleigh Rucker Funeral Home.

Would you please help Portia pay for her son’s burial? The funeral home has given her a 10 a.m. deadline tomorrow morning to come up with the money for the viewing of his body tomorrow between 6 and 8 pm, the memorial service on Friday, and the cremation of his body. Any amount will help. Here is the donation link. I can vouch for Marshall’s  trustworthiness. Every cent will go toward helping Portia with burial and funeral expenses. Thank you for your consideration.

Update, 2/2/8/18 at 9:58 p.m.: We raised the full amount! Thank you to everyone who gave.



Marshall with Portia, her daughter, and extended family in front of the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. on 3/1/18 after the payment was made.

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