KANSAS CITY, MO — DMario Gray and Shelle West are linked through their dedication to service in the community. Both of them also lost brothers to homicide.
West told 41 Action News her brother "was the 112th homicide of Kansas City."
Less than two months later, she partnered with Gray to host two free community dinners dedicated to homicide victims and created a post on Facebook.
The goal was to serve 1,000 meals. For the guests, Gray directed a special request to the event’s volunteers.
"Make [our guests] know that they're kings and queens,” Gray said. “Make them know that they're getting served today because a lot of times, they don't get to go to five-star restaurants."
Linda Jamison said the dinner was a blessing because “a lot of people don't get this."
In addition to the meals, Gray also handed out cold weather gear and bags of food to those in need. On Wednesday, the group will give away 200 turkeys.
"I was in their shoes before,” he said. “I want to make an impact and make a change.”
So many in attendance were touched by homicide. When asked how she could volunteer so soon after her brother's death, West said, "My brother is love, so I know this is what he would want."
The second community dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Smaxx Restaurant, 1827 Vine Street, in Kansas City.