Through work on the Prison Ministry committee for his church, Reginald Gray met people whose children were being raised by a single parent, no parents, aunts, grandmothers, relatives and even friends. This experience affected Reggie profoundly, and he said he felt a “real calling to help these kids.” Reggie and his wife, India, started a nonprofit agency called We Win for Kids. This agency is devoted to helping kids with a parent or parents who are in prison, but also any young person who needs someone to listen, someone to understand or someone to care.
Through sports and compassion, Reggie helps young people look inside themselves to find the strength to handle their problems and feel assured that they have someone who cares. He tries to steer them to stay out of trouble as well as incorporate basic healthy living habits. The kids call him on the phone, drop by his house to hang out and are often part of teams he coaches.
Recently, a high school student being raised by a single mother confided in Reggie that due to a lack of income, he had started selling drugs to support himself and his mother. Reggie talked with him about other choices and eventually convinced the young man to stop selling drugs and look for alternatives. Reggie says that sometimes all it takes is for these kids to know that there is at least one person who cares about them and holds them to standards and expectations.
Reggie works as a staff member in Mail Services for Washington University in St. Louis, but it is his work with We Win for Kids that directly impacts the lives of many children in the St. Louis area. He provides understanding and acceptance in an atmosphere where other kids with similar problems can talk to each other and feel more normal and accepted. By helping these kids become better people and good citizens who feel pride in themselves, Reggie is doing a great service to the community. As Maryann Anderson states, “his willingness to help kids who might otherwise be shunned or ignored by society indicates a kind, generous and hopeful attitude toward life that must have a true, honest effect on those he tries to help.”