Erricka Bridgeford, the community mediator and force of nature behind a grassroots movement to disrupt the city’s cycle of street violence, is set to receive some much-deserved help in the form of some wheels.
As Bridgeford detailed in the below video, she’s been dealing with some car troubles, most recently having to replace a transmission on an SUV that had only been given to her months ago.
It was initially the public who stepped up to help in the form of a GoFundMe campaign, with donors collectively giving $12,366 to secure Bridgeford a new “Ceasefire-Lady Mobile.” But the Towson and Harford County car dealer Heritage, part of the Mid-Atlantic region’s MileOne Autogroup, caught wind of the fundraiser and has decided to donate one of its own vehicles instead.
Bridgeford will receive a 2013 Volkswagon Tiguan SUV this Wednesday during a ceremony with MileOne AutoGroup CEO Steven Fader and Mayor Catherine Pugh. In a statement, he said he read about the GoFundMe page—The Sun covered it a couple weeks ago—and “quickly realized that this was something we could provide to Erricka.” And by comping the car, he said, Bridgeford can instead use the thousands in donations for Baltimore Ceasefire’s anti-violence programming.
The movement just ended its seventh weekend of community activities, “Sacred 7” rituals honoring lives lost to violence and other “life-affirming events” celebrating and promoting peace over violence. Two people were killed—one on N. Dukeland Street in Walbrook on Saturday, another on Edmondson Avenue in Harlem Park on Friday—but as Bridgeford has noted previously, the violence doesn’t take away from the ethos and message of it all.
“When a murder happens it doesn’t stop a Ceasefire weekend,” she told Fox 45 yesterday at one of this weekend’s two murder sites. “We’re celebrating life and addressing murder in a different way by showing up and saying we love this person and this person matters.”
Heritage will present her with the SUV at Station North’s Motor House on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.