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.

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BOB Task Force Celebrates Holiday Through Giving

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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

Crime Prevention Program Vocal through St. Petersburg CONA

 

The Pinellas County Urban League, through the Black-on-Black Crime Prevention Program, participated in the 2012 Council of Neighborhood Associations’ (CONA) annual goal setting and planning session on February 4, 2012.  The activity, held at the SunCoast Hospice Center, 3050 1st Avenue South in Saint Petersburg, offers residents the opportunity to influence city priorities by working together and sharing the collective voice of all neighborhood associations.  Mayor Bill Foster set the tone for the meeting by thanking residents for their commitment to the city.  “We want people to love the city,” said Foster.  During his remarks, he stressed the need for more dialog, new ideas and a renewed energy to overcome many of the challenges created by the economic downturn that rippled through the global economy.

Represented by staff and BOBCPP Task Force member, Gershom Faulkner, the program and its constituents spoke in favor of increasing collaboration between CONA and youth groups as a way to strengthen community ties, further reduce crime rates and beautify communities through multiple small-scale projects.  Advocates for increasing neighborhood participation within the Council structure, session participants agreed that CONA must make a greater effort to reach the community with its message and then follow up with training, coaching and resource sharing for communities that need help organizing and managing an association.  Presently, only 32 of the city’s 74 neighborhoods are active within CONA.  The group identified the need to understand why communities fail to participate as a top priority.

Information about CONA is available from its website.  For more information on how the Black-on-Black Crime Prevention Program may assist you, please call (727) 328-1968.