Celebrating MLK Day with R’Club

children speak

Preventing Crime is about more than locks and security planning. It is about community. That is why our Crime Prevention Program participated in a MLK Day of Service project by reading to toddlers at a local R’Club Daycare Center. Each year, the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Pinellas Opportunity Council, Inc. (RSVP) celebrates the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service” by conducting a special “Reading Project” in all of the Head Start/Early Head Start Program Centers throughout Pinellas County. Through this project, RSVP and community volunteers read the book “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King” to three and four year olds, particularly stressing and discussing Dr. King’s timeless themes of non-violence, equality, and peaceful co-existence – values that are important to learn at an early age.

The best part is, following the reading and brief discussion, each child receives a personalized children’s book of their very own – generously donated by numerous local companies, organizations, and friends – in order that they might continue the adventure of reading and learning at home.

Promoting basic literacy is one of the ways crime is reduced in our communities. To find out more about our programs and opportunities for service, call the Pinellas County Urban League at (727) 327-2081.

Advertisements

BOB Task Force Celebrates Holiday Through Giving

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Thursday, December 13, 2012, the BOB Task Force met to spread holiday joy by presenting a holiday gift basket and donating canned goods to a local charity.  Members of the group contributed to the creation of a holiday meal basket as a gift for Mrs. Kathlean S., a local resident experiencing financial hardship during this holiday season.  Kathlean’s holiday plans were drastically changed when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.  His recent chemotherapy sessions have left him unable to create the holiday environment their family treasures.  The Task Force stepped in to provide the fixings and trimmings for a holiday meal and more.  Kathlean expressed her gratitude for the gift basket and the work performed by the Task Force.

“It’s great that you are working to make our neighborhoods safer.  Crime prevention really begins in the home, but sometimes families need help to stay straight”, said Kathlean.  “It’s nice to know that some body cares enough to help.”

Following the presentation, canned goods collected by the Task Force were donated to the Dream Center of Saint Petersburg for distribution to needy families.  Mr. King Best, a Dream Center program manager, welcomed the donation and expressed an interest in further participating in activities produced by the Task Force.  “You show that you like to get things done.  This food will go a long way towards helping the community.  People just don’t realize how many hungry people we have in Saint Petersburg,” said Best.  Indeed, the more than 200 items offered included meats, stews and entrees that are the center piece for a meal.

Randy Lewis, Chair of the Task Force, said ” Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like to just talk about helping.  I need to see that something is being done.  If you know that LOVE is an action verb, then you can’t spend your time just talking about how much you love your community.”  The Task Force demonstrated their love on this day and on many others. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Task Force and its activities, please call the League at 727.327.2081 x 119 or send an e-mail to madekunle@pcul.org.  For more information about the Pinellas County Urban League, visit www.pcul.org

Social Impact Bonds

So, you have never heard of a social impact bond?  You are not alone.  This is a fairly new idea being tested in the United States, but it is based on a familiar concept.  The idea is that we invest money in the things we believe will bring us a return on that investment.  If we believe that keeping previously incarcerated youth from returning to jail is important, why not reward investors for supporting programs that successfully accomplish the goal of reducing the recidivism rate?  After all, a win-win in this area is a benefit for the youth, the country, and now, the investor.

Cash poor governmentsare facing the reality that our penal system is expensive and yields fewer positive results than most desire.  Of course there are many reasons for the results, some of which are outside the control of the penal system.  Still, a solution must be found to reduce the expenses that crime and punishment create.  Imagine, pay for performance in the social services industry.  Solve a problem, reap a benefit.

Will this structure work closer to home?  Are we in Florida, particularly Pinellas County, ready for this new model?  Share your thoughts.  Consider joining our Task Force here at The Pinellas County Urban League, and make your voice heard.  Call Michael Adekunle at (727) 327-2081 extensiion 119 for more details.