“They have bills to pay, too
By Chinta Strausberg
Multi-millionaire/humanitarian Dr. Willie Wilson gave away $1 million to 1,000 preachers to help them with their church expenses that are still due, although they are banned from holding church due to COVID-19, which is preventing their members from paying tithes on a regular basis.
Saying he feels their financial pain, Dr. Wilson gave $1,000 to 1000 ministers Friday, April 17, 2020, at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, 754 E. 77th St., headed by Rev. Dr. Stephen Thurston.
While the line was long, the clergy were patient, and it was worth the wait. “The ministers need help to keep their doors open. They need food to feed their families, too,” said Wilson.
Dr. Wilson said he is not through. “Some of them got cold and left, others couldn’t stand that long, so they left. I understand that so I am going to mail them their check next week, and we will give them more,” he said.
“We all are supposed to help. If you are not doing anything in life, why are you here? We will do more. They need more than this one time. It is not over. We will do more.”
Next week, besides giving more masks to seniors including to Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger’s senior citizen building and the Auburn Gresham community, which is a COVID-19 hot spot, Dr. Wilson said a Jackson Park Hospital nurse asked him to donate face masks to the staff and he vowed to grant her wish.
Dr. Wilson, who heads the Omar Medical Supplies, buys his face masks and other medical supplies from China. He has six employees there and has five distribution sites in the U.S.—Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Miami.
Dr. Wilson, who has been giving money to churches and to the community for nearly three decades, gave away $1 million a week ago to those who entered their names on his website. Since then, he has given away one million face masks and will distribute more next week to more seniors. He also gave masks to nurses and first line defense workers like police and fire—those who work in the crossfires of COVID-19.
But while he has a good and respected relationship in China, Illinois Gov. J. P. Pritzker and Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot won’t buy from his company, according to Dr. Wilson. “The governor did call me back, but I haven’t heard from him since, and the mayor never returned my call,” Wilson said.
In an article written by D’Juan Hopewell titled, “Government refuses to purchase masks from Black-Owned Company,” the governor allegedly spent $1.7 million on two flights from China in order to purchase masks there. This is also at a time when 181 detainees at the Cook County Jail, according to the Chicago Tribune, have tested positive for COVID-19. Another 156 who previously tested positive are now recovering, and reportedly 200 correctional officers are now infected.
Vetress Boyce, a consultant to Dr. Wilson, told Hopewell that Wilson would be donating 100,000 masks to Cook County Jail.