Community hosts block party to combat violence

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- West Jefferson Street was filled with people Saturday for a block party put on by neighbors that benefited kids in need of school uniforms.

But organizers said the real reason for the party was to bring the community together to combat all the recent violence.

While the kids kicked off their shoes and enjoyed the music, fun, and food at the block party on Jefferson Street, their parents stocked up on school uniforms.

“One of our main focuses is uniform exchange. We would get gently used or new uniforms donated,” said block party organizer Maurice McGee.

Over 100 sets of uniforms were given away and parents said in these tough economic times, this donation is a big help.

“This is a blessing that we greatly appreciate,” said neighbor and mom Denise Gunn.

But McGee said this event was not just about fun and donations, it was to get neighbors out and about to meet each other to form a united front against all the recent violence.

“I think if you let that stop you from living your live and your kids life, then the people committing the violence, they win,” said McGee.

McGee said all the violence stems from community members not looking out for one another.

“It takes a village, and we got away from that village,” said McGee.

McGee said he's trying to build a village of neighbors to steer the next generation of children away from violence and parents attending the block party are all on board.

“If we could get back to some of the old ways, if I see your child doing wrong or you see my child doing wrong; we are going to try and correct them and redirect them.”

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