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Thursday, June 13, 2024

National Night Out Cultivates Community

By Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / August 5, 2022

Greensboro residents, neighborhood leaders and groups, public safety officials and elected officials took to the streets on August 2 for the city’s annual National Night Out.

National Night Out (NNO), is a national crime and drug prevention event sponsored locally by the Greensboro Police Department (GPD). Through community gatherings, National Night Out seeks to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while fostering a sense of community.

Greensboro was one of 26 cities nationwide with a population of 100,000 to 299,999 to be recognized for its support of NNO. The department has received 23 national awards from the National Association of Town Watch based on community participation. According to the GPD, more than 120 sites held NNO events in neighborhoods across the city this year. The first NNO was in 1984.

“I think it’s unique in not only do the police go out, but also our fire departments and elected officials. Neighbors meeting neighbors, in this day and age when everybody is so busy, is so important. It’s really a great way to build stronger communities,” said Jenny Caviness, director of GPD’s Office of Community Engagement.

The Order of The Eastern Star, Magnolia Chapter 23 sponsored an NNO event at the Cumberland Courts apartments where attendees could enjoy hot dogs, games, vendors and a back-to-school bookbag giveaway.

“We have adopted the Cumberland Courts community to make sure that we can bring much needed resources to the people,” said Carolyn Daniels, post worthy matron of Order of the Eastern Star, Magnolia Chapter 23.

Besides NNO, the Eastern Star organization also participates in the city’s Adopt-A-Street program, where they pick up trash and keep the sidewalks clean.
Members of the Delta Sigma Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. distributed 50 free backpacks to school-aged Cumberland Courts residents stuffed with back-to-school supplies.

“It’s wonderful that we get to partner with the Eastern Stars as a chance to give back and connect with the community. Our bookbag initiative helps to take some pressure off parents so that the students can have everything they need to get the school year started,” said Jessica Gregory, treasurer of the Delta Sigma Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

National Night Out is also a good way for people to learn about organizations and community groups in the city, such as Level Up Parenting.

The local organization helps provide resources, parenting classes and baby supplies to single mothers. The organization gave away diapers, wipes, baby formula and more to mothers at multiple NNO events on Tuesday night.

Tamica Hughes, founder of Level Up Parenting said, “I volunteer at events like this because I want to give back and help other single moms. I know how it is. Sometimes you just need a little help.”

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