#388: A Blast at National Night Out
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
This evening I volunteered at our neighborhood center to help with National Night Out festivities. It was an opportunity to feel needed, to greet old neighbors and meet new ones. The fire and police departments had vehicles present for tours. A face painter did amazing artwork on the kids' (and some adults) faces, balloons, educational safety coloring books, Seniors versus Crime had informational literature and there was a special adult/child basketball game with small size basketballs as well as normal sized basketball games for the older kids.
We probably served several hundred grilled hamburgers
and hot dogs and passed out bags and bags of potato chips, Fritos, Doritos and Oreo and animal cookies. Two large containers of lemonade
drew big crowds, especially in the Florida heat we had.
National Night Out is an annual event designed to strengthen neighborhoods through heightened awareness of crime. It builds community spirit and increases participation in Neighborhood Watch, sending a message to criminals that our communities are organized and are fighting back. It's also a perfect opportunity to get to know our neighbors.
I've written before about how active our neighborhood association is. This is one more example of how people can pull together, adults and children, newcomers and established residents and share a few hours of camaraderie and friendship. If your community does not have organized National Night Out activities, now is the time to begin planning for next year.
It is an experience that bonds people together and makes neighborhoods safer. And it's a heck of a lot of fun, even if I wasn't able to get my face painted.