Wednesday, August 6, 2014

National Night Out 2014

Yesterday, I had an exciting evening out in the community for National Night Out 2014.

This was the second year in a row that I attended National Night Out on behalf of My Sisters' Place. Last year, I manned an informational table at the White Plains Night Out. This year, I was in Yonkers. The goal of National Night Out is to bring together the community and local police departments. It is a great way for residents to get to know the resources available in their neighborhoods and the officers who are there to keep them safe. Growing up as the daughter of a police officer, I never had any reason to fear law enforcement officials. I knew what her job was and had the chance to meet many of her co-workers. For some children (and even adults!), police officers can be scary. National Night Out is a great way to foster positive interactions so that in times of trouble, residents will not feel intimidated or uncomfortable to call upon their local police precinct.

With wonderful Helen, a founder of My Sisters' Place who continues to serve her community in so many ways!

Some of my favorite moments of the evening included:
  • Answering a question that many children who approached our table had: "What does My Sisters' Place mean?" A lot of them were VERY young, so I didn't go into details about domestic violence. Instead, I encouraged the kids to think about treating others with respect and love...much like they would do with their sister (or brother)!
  • Providing information to a mother who has been thinking about going to My Sisters' Place for services for a long time now, but thought that she had to have a police report to speak with someone at MSP. I was able to let her know that My Sisters' Place will provide help to whoever needs it--regardless of police involvement or without it! I really hope that she reaches out to My Sisters' Place for whatever support that she needs.
  • Seeing so many of our community leaders in attendance--from New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, to Yonkers Police Commissioner Gardner, to many of our City Council members. 
  • Catching up with a few of my mother's past co-workers, who still remember me as the four-year-old visiting police headquarters!
  • Hearing the passion and excitement of many Yonkers teens in attendance. They were volunteering, performing, and preparing for the upcoming school year. 
  • And, of course, being knee deep in stickers, autograph cards, and the laughter of children--the best part of my job as Miss Empire Star.

I am already looking forward to National Night Out 2015! I can't wait to continue to spread the word about My Sisters' Place, support the Yonkers Police Department, and share a smile with the passionate and diverse community that I am blessed to be a part of. 

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