NewsRegionBaltimore City


Families of gas explosion victims and church officials seek monetary donations

Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 17:15:11-04

BALTIMORE — For the first time since last week's gas explosion on Labyrinth Road, families of the two people killed addressed the media together for the first time.

Chala Graham and her family along with Shirley Washington's asked for public donations during a press conference at The Empowerment Temple Church.

"I would like to say thank you to everyone," said Josephy Graham's mother, Chala. "It's been such a difficult time for my family and I. We appreciate all the love and support."

"I cannot afford it," said Shirley Washington, Herriott's sister. "I can not afford to put my sister away and she deserves it."

Last week The Empowerment Temple Church said in a press release, "We have partnered with a member to cover his burial expenses. We are hoping that the families, community leaders and the wider Baltimore community join us in support."

Since last week, it appears that donation has not come through and the church along with the victims' families are asking for online donations.

"We want to ensure that the community can come together so that we can help support the family," said Pastor GJ.

WMAR-2 News asked the church how much money it has committed to funeral costs. Pastor GJ wouldn't answer directly.

"We have partners, members who have donated," said Pastor GJ. "Every second, every moment that number goes up. I know it will be substantial. It will be above the $5,000 dollar range."

The church is hoping more people donate at tonight's Drive Thru Memorial located at 4217 Primerose Avenue.

If you'd like more information or on ways to donate you can click here.