Remember Sandra Parks

Gun violence victim Sandra Parks“Mom, I’m shot!”–Sandra Parks

Remember Sandra Parks. One of the more recent tragic episodes in gun violence highlights inner-city crime with this heart-breaking story. Just this past week, for example,  sitting in her home in Milwaukie, Wisconsin, a stray bullet took Sandra’s life.  As a 6th grader Sandra penned an essay in a city-wide school competition. The annual contest honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Beside her tragic death, what makes Sandra noteworthy: She received 3rd place for her essay on gun violence!

Remember Sandra Parks for the tragic irony of her death. In an effort to keep the memory of Dr. King alive, Sandra challenged her generation to uphold his goal: we shall overcome. Sandra wanted to see faith and hope for a better tomorrow. But, she admitted, she fails to see it. Instead, she sees “examples of chaos almost every day” and “little children” who become victims of “senseless gun violence.”

Two Truths

Remember Sandra Parks for her two truths:

1. We must care about each other. We can do this, she says, through empathy, reducing nasty comments, and loving ourselves and those around us.

2. We have to have purpose which she saw as education, the means to making the world a better place. “We will become the next President, law enforcement officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and law makers.” Therefore, she concludes “it is our responsibility as future leaders.”

“I miss her a lot,” says her mother. “I can’t go anywhere without crying.

Cold Facts

How did this happen? we wonder. How could it? One man was charged with several counts. But cold facts don’t matter. What counts is remembering Sandra’s young life and her effort to make a difference in reducing gun violence.

Sandra deserves our attention and our memory, even our grief, both for herself and as representative of the many young people whose lives are lost each year to gun violence. A Go-Fund-Me account exists to help the family with funeral expenses.

How To Remember Sandra Parks

  1. Read Sandra’s 6th grade essay: “Our Truth”
  2. Pray for Sandra’s mother and family for God to comfort
  3. Donate to Sandra’s Go-Fund-Me Account.
Sandra Park's Essay

Sandra Parks’ Essay


About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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