Let there be peace in Winston-Salem

December 21
07:00 2017

By Busta Brown

God said, “Let there be peace on earth as it is in heaven,” and Winston-Salem’s Ben Piggott has been doing just that for 23 years with his annual Peace Toys for War Toys event. The program gives children and adults the opportunity to exchange war toys for free peace toys.

Piggott started the program because of a personal tragedy.

“My brother was killed by his best friend, and the first thing my mother told us was, regardless of what happened about the shooting, let God handle it,” Piggott said.

Piggott got emotional as he spoke about his mother’s wisdom. “Her very words before she passed two years ago, was the same as before, remember to always let God handle it. So with Peace Toys for War Toys, we’re going to get out there and spread love instead of hate. We’re not going to cause any problems. We want every child to know that, giving love solves all of our hate problems.”

Ben looked at me, smiles, put his arms around me and says, “There’s no way in the world that revenge is the way out. Give love and stretch your arms around that brotha and let him know you love him, because Christ is about love, and that’s what we’re doing today.”

The expression on the children’s faces was priceless, what they were feeling was something neither gift nor money could buy, and that was pure love, which you could see and feel from Piggott and the many volunteers, liked Gary Lash.

“Look around, Busta, look at all the people here, smiling faces, a bunch of happy children, and happy parents that didn’t have to go out to get any extra toys; it means the world,” Lash said.

I felt Lash’s passion, and as I looked around, I nearly began crying tears of joy, it was a beautiful sight. Although the event was about giving toys to children for Christmas, I was still reminded that the greatest gift is love and time spent with those you love. God’s love was in the LJVM Coliseum Education Building this past Saturday, Dec. 16, Sophia Mitchell was filled with that love as she watched her daughter Emma Parsons playing and laughing with the other children.

“This means so much more than words, especially for the children,” Sophia Mitchell said.

Emma came and gave mommy a big hug during our interview. It was priceless! I also spoke with Fred Cater, as I walked toward him, he was playing with his son Cannan, so I asked what he was feeling at that very moment.

“Love and peace, nothing but love and peace. With all that’s going on this world, this is right on time,” Fred Cater said.

Latoya and her daughter Kiya were feeling the love as well.

“I’m so thankful to be here with my family, and praising the Lord,”  Latoya said.

Wife and mother Mayra Flores was happy and excited to share her thoughts.

“This a beautiful time to be with your family, friends and get to know all the beautiful people in the community,” Mayra Flores said. Afterward, Flores’ husband gave her a hug and kiss. It was sweet.  I was reminded of a song by Hip Hop Legend Heavy D: “I got nothin’ but love for you baby.”

As I was making my rounds fellowshiping with all the families and volunteers, I passed the visionary for Peace Toys for War Toys, Ben Piggott, engaging in conversation with local Minister Lynne Patrick. She opened the event with a prayer. “The Lord gave me a word, and I came out to share it,” she said.

Piggott constantly made his rounds, thanking the sponsors, partners and volunteers.

“Busta, I’m beyond grateful for God what  is doing with me and everyone involved. All I can do is pray that He keeps His hand on us so we can keep this going. Please tell all of my friends at The Chronicle how much I appreciate their support. I love y’all man.”

Make sure you check my interview with Ben Piggott and some of the families on our @ Winstonsalem Chronicle channel on

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