PDT Staff Writer
More than 250 people came out to Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority’s celebration of National Night Out on Tuesday.
National Night Out is a national event which takes place every first Tuesday in August in many communities around the country. It began as a partnership between communities and law enforcement, and to share alternative programs to crime. Locally, it was a collaborative effort between the 14th Street Community Center and PMHA.
“We had finger-printing for the kids with the police department, and the fire truck was here for the kids to walk through. There was also face-painting, and an inflatable for the kids to enjoy,” said Sherry Bailey, a Housing Manager at Farley Square for Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority.
One of the annual highlights of the event is rides in the police cars for the kids.
“Its about building positive relationships within the community. The kids really enjoying the rides in our vehicles, and we are glad we can provide this for them,” Officer J.G.Bowen said.
Free food was given to those who attended National Night Out, consisting of hot dogs, popcorn, juice, and snow cones.
Executive Director of the 14th Street Community Center Maxine Malone said she was appreciative of the financial support given by the Northend Ministerial Alliance.
“With the monetary donation given by the Alliance, we were able to give out 100 back packs full of school supplies to the youth in the community,” Malone said.
Pastor Clarence Parker, President of The Northend Ministerial Alliance, said they’d originally planned to give out school supplies and backpacks at their Community Revival which was taking place at the same time as National Night Out through Thursday.
“We decided to make a donation to the 14th Street Community Center, let them put the together the packets, and distribute it as part of that National Night Out,” Parker said.
Bailey said she was appreciative of the support that they received from the community, and said it was a success.
“I appreciate all of the help from the local agencies, and volunteers that came over. I think its really important to have a positive thing to have for the kids, and adults also to be involved,” Bailey said.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234 heartlandpublications.com.