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The Story of Joseph Adetula 

Joseph Adetula was killed on July 4, 2005, while he was walking home from a convenience store. It was a senseless crime, and the murderers left no real information: all witnesses could tell the police and Joseph's father Dayo was that the shooters were in a four-door gold or tan vehicle. It was a stupid crime. Joseph Adetula died that day with nine bullets in him.

But Joseph Adetula was not the only victim. Dayo was a victim. Joseph's friends and family will suffer by never seeing him or laughing with him again. And all the good things Joseph could have done are now gone forever.
 And the young men who shot Joseph will never rest again. No matter why they shot him, or whether they are caught, they will always know that they killed an innocent man. Whether shooters or victims, all our young people are victimized by these crimes. Both sides suffer, either a quick death of the body or a slow death of the soul. Dayo Adetula wants to treat the souls and hearts and minds of our young people, and ensure that these terrible, terrible things stop happening. 
   
Our children are doing these things because they think that is all they have. Sometimes their home lives are so bad they think there is nothing good to look forward to. Other times, drugs and violence seem like the only way to get the good things in life that they desperately want. 

The Joseph Adetula Foundation is here to teach them otherwise. 


What do you do to keep your children safe?

Do you watch every move they make? Do you know their friends? Do you ensure they have safe places to play, go to school, and hang out?

I did. But my son Joseph Adetula is dead. He was the victim of a drive-by shooting. He was only eighteen years old, and no one knows why he was killed, or who did it. We may never know.

He was one of thousands of American teenagers and children killed every year in acts of violence.

I can't bring my son back. No one can.

But I can make things better for other children in our community, and so can you.

Today, when you look out your window, what do you see? Are your streets clean, well-kept, and filled with happy children playing, riding bikes, and having fun?

Or are they dark and depressing places, with weeds and trash everywhere, suspicious looking teenagers, and not a child in sight?

If you live in the first sort of neighborhood, you should count yourself fortunate. Many children in our city live in the second type of neighborhood. Some don't feel safe when they play outside. Others have family problems: single working parents, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, or severe poverty.

Regardless of who these children are, they are all our children. It is our responsibility, as the adults of the community, to show them what they can be some day, to give them pride in their community, and to guide them as they become the new adults of all our tomorrows.

How You Can Help

Drive through the poorer neighborhoods of town and look around. Open your eyes. You may see run-down, dangerous playgrounds. You may see parks with not a single patch of green. You might see garbage on the streets, or weeds growing through old broken sidewalks.

What does this do to the children who live in this environment every single day?

Pay attention to the children, too. Are they happy and motivated? Do they do well in school, stay out of trouble, go to college to make better lives for themselves? Or are they dropping out to raise children or get jobs at fast-food restaurants and factories?

We can't fix the adults in our neighborhoods. But we can do things to show the children that we care, we are there for them, and we are willing and able to guide them. We can be role models. And we can all care for our city's children by giving them a better environment in which to thrive.

To do this in our world today, we need money. Money fixes the playgrounds, grows flowers and grass in the parks, picks up the trash and repairs the sidewalks. And money provides the children who would otherwise drop out with the places to go, things to do, and extra help and motivation that will get them to stay in school and make their lives everything we hope for them.

If you can't give today, at least look around and see the need. You can help today by being a good example, and by encouraging the children already in your life. But when you can, give to the Joseph Adetula Foundation. We are a 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1) under the National Heritage Foundation corporation, so your donations are tax-deductible. And even a little bit will help.

 


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