Communities and neighborhoods around the United States commonly experience most of the following challenges: food security; access to healthcare; affordable housing; adequate paying jobs; training and education; transportation; sustainable infrastructure (power, water, waste); public safety; inequality; and access to non-predatory funds. These issues together have created systems of oppression for many Black Americans.
Empower at The Bridge is intended to address all of these challenges by creating a system of EMPOWERMENT.
Who Inspired Us?
Milton S. Hershey
Unlike other industrialists of his time, Milton Hershey’s vision of a company town expanded beyond the brick-and-mortar walls of his chocolate factory. He built homes, parks, schools, public transportation and infrastructure, enriching the lives of those around him. His wealth was accompanied by a profound sense of moral responsibility and benevolence.
When he and his beloved wife, Catherine, realized they could not have children, they founded a school for orphaned boys. His dream had grown far beyond acquiring wealth for his own benefit: “One is only happy in proportion as he makes others feel happy.” In 1918, long before his death, Milton Hershey endowed the school that he and Catherine started with his entire fortune.
Nipsey Hussle was a noted American rapper from the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Los Angeles, he was raised amidst an atmosphere of gun violence, drug hustling and police brutality and eventually became drawn towards it. He made a U-turn when at the age of 19, his emigrant father took him to his homeland Eritrea, which was torn by war and poverty.
He returned home to concentrate on his music career, releasing one mixtapes after another, sending positive messages through them. Concurrently, he started undertaking community work, opening several businesses to keep the youth away from violence. He also founded a record label and a flagship store as a symbol of economic self-sufficiency. He died at the age of 33, after being fatally shot in front of his store.
Charles Mully was the firstborn son of a poverty-stricken Kenyan family of ten children. By age 6 he was abandoned by his parents to live on the streets for the next 12 years. Through diligence, hard work, and faith, Charles rose to become a very successful businessman. He, his wife Esther, and their eight children lived very comfortably as Charles became a multi-millionaire.
In 1986, Charles began to hear a call on his life to care for the thousands of abandoned children he encountered on the streets of Kenya, especially as he remembered his own struggles there as a child. In 1989, Charles and Esther began to take street orphans and vulnerable children into their home to be raised alongside their own biological children.
Those numbers grew so that over the last 30 years, the Mully Family has given their entire lives and considerable fortune to rescue, adopt, house, feed, clothe, and educate well over 13,000 Kenyan orphans who have graduated from the program as well as an additional 3,500 in the program currently.