Prayer vigil marks hope for neighborhood

In an effort to recognize peace week, the Booker T. Washington neighborhood and the City of Myrtle Beach set a series of events for the week to recognize the need for change in the community.

Monday, the community cleaned up the future site of their garden of hope. Wednesday, they held a prayer vigil.

The prayer vigil expressed remorse for the victims lost to violence in the past, and prayers for future changes in their community.

Thursday evening, they will hold a town hall meeting at the Canal Street Recreation Center. There the community is invited to express their ideas for the community.

Four mothers who had lost children to violence in the area attended Wednesday's prayer vigil.

Flora Bell Pickett says the pain she experienced from her son being shot is something, "you never forget."

Pickett takes her tears and turns them into change in her community. "It's painful, but what we're trying to do is we don't want anymore mothers to go through what we're going through because when you give birth to a child you want the best for them," she said.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall says they have stepped up patrols in the area because the community has asked for it. He says he is encouraged by the effort the community has put forward.

"The people out here that are begging for help, the people out here that are demonstrating to take back their community and do some good things in their community and we need to be a part of that," he said.

Pickett says the support from the city of Myrtle Beach has been wonderful, but says the members of the community need to spark the change.

"So I'm just asking that everyone in the community just try to understand and try to make sure these kids are headed down the right path so when you're seeing them out there in the streets and they're not doing the right thing, pull them aside and talk to them, you never know what a conversation may do," she said.

The garden is set to be completed within a few months.

If you would like to donate to the Booker T. Washington Garden of Hope please email Krystal Dotson at