"She's special because she's my first. Life has changed a lot since she was born."
"I'm the mama in this neighborhood. All mine are grown now, but I watch out for all the kids here, young and old. I'm always watching, seeing. If I catch you doing something, I'm gonna stop you. You can't be running around here with these guns. I'm not gonna let you act like that. Ain't gonna let nobody get killed while I'm sitting here 'cause I don't want nobody to do my child like that. Ain't nobody gonna be clowning around me. I'll stop it."
"I try to teach my kids to do the right thing, like my mama taught me. I tell them to stay in school, go to college, and get that degree."
"My son is incarcerated. He's looking at 2018 or 2020 before he gets out. I get through with the help of family and friends, but it's hard. I worry about him. I pray to God that he'll be OK while he's down there."
"My dog Roscoe is my best friend for real. He protects me, sleeps with me, is there for me when I'm crying. He's in tune with me."
"The holidays can be such a stressful time. We feel like we have to be Santa Claus to our kids, to fulfill all their expectations and make Christmas perfect for them. We tell ourselves we're failures if we can't do it, but that kind of thinking is a lie. We can say 'No' to our kids, and we can say 'No' to the culture. Satan has taken a beautiful, joyous holiday and twisted it into something ugly. We don't have to buy into that lie. Our kids don't need more things. They need hope."
"We're part of Grow Memphis, a non-profit organization that helps start community gardens. If a group of community members wants to get a garden started, we can help by providing start-up funds for seeds and tools. We also provide education, infrastructure, and support, and they become part of the Grow Memphis network. We now have 35 community gardens."
Dallas, Toni, Theodora, and Ashley at the site of the Orange Mound Community Garden.
"I'm thankful for my family, my friends, and for waking up to see another day. And I'm thankful for my boyfriend because he's genuine and he loves me."