In the wake of a tragedy, the Tinley Park community is working to provide comfort.
Local organizations are coordinating efforts to support four Tinley Park children after their father was charged with the first-degree murder of their mother.
Nermeen Gamel Sam, 38, was found dead on Wednesday outside her home in the 19700 block of Silverside Drive, according to Tinley Park Police. Will County prosecutors say Bahaa A. Sam, 47, beat his wife to death with a weight lifting curling bar as their 4-year-old son watched.
“We’re trying to help the children as much as we can,” said the Rev. Samuel Azmy, who is the priest at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Monee, where the family attends services.
The Sam children are temporarily separated and are being cared for by relatives and parishioners from St. George. Decisions about their long-term placement will be made in the coming weeks.
“The people who are taking care of them right now are doing a great job,” said a friend of the family who asked not to be named.
St. George has opened a donation account for the children through BMO Harris Bank. Donations to the Sam Family Fund can be made at any Harris Bank location. The account number is 4812855233.
Clothing donations can be dropped off at the Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center. The Tinley Park Jaycees have also donated food and Christmas presents to the Sam children.
Summit Hill School District 161 sent an email to district community members informing them about various opportunities to support the family.
“This community is amazing,” said the family friend. “Everybody wants to do something.”
She went on to say that the children’s biggest need now is financial donations, rather than gifts or clothing.
Azmy said that Nermeen was a leader within the St. George community. She managed the kitchen ministry and was welcoming and helpful to new parishioners.
St. George hosted a prayer meeting Friday evening to assist parishioners in addressing their grief. Nermeen’s funeral will be held Saturday morning.
“She was loved by everyone at the church,” Azmy said. “She will be missed a lot.”
A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday at St. George Church, located at 4601 W. Pauling Road in Monee.
Get News Alerts and Facebook Updates From These Patch sites: