After a man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run car accident this past Friday, Carol Jones, a leader in the West Oakland community, came to the aid of the grieving family when they received news of the man’s death.
The man, Marice Summerfield, 39, was a son, father, and brother. He accompanied Jones to spread the message to stop the violence only an hour before he was hit.
“My heart aches, I can only imagine their pain,” said Jones, executive director of The More Foundation, who says she knew Marice from around the neighborhood.
For over eight years, she has assisted over 500 low-income families of victims of violent crimes with funeral and burial arrangements through The More Foundation. She has helped them lay their loved ones to rest, providing funeral programs, grooming the deceased and other necessities.
Through her foundation, Jones also holds fundraisers to help grieving families cover funeral and burial costs. This week, she is helping raise money for Marice’s family at the corner of 34th and Chestnut Street in West Oakland, selling rib, chicken and link dinners to support the cause.
“When you see the facial expressions of family members, it’s devastating,” said Jones, who grew up in West Oakland. “This is my passion, to help people and to give back.”
A graduate with a degree in Human Services and Management from the University of Phoenix, Jones says, “I am their support system, a positive role model and someone that’s going to be honest and truthful with them.”
Jones says she has seen a lot of young men and women who have lost their lives to “senseless” violence.
When asked how she copes with all the grief and pain she witnesses, Jones says prayer and her church – Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor Ray Williams, where she has been a member since 1983 – keeps her sane.
“If it wasn’t for God on my side,” she said.
Through community partnerships, the foundation has received support from Morning Star Baptist Church, community agencies and personal donations to help families. She recently partnered with CALPEP and executive director Gloria Lockett as a sponsor for The More Foundation.
Jones welcomes community support for Marice’s family during the fundraiser this week at 34th and Chestnut Street everyday from noon to 6 p.m., continuing through March 1.
For more information, call Carol Jones at (510) 978-5517 or email [email protected]