LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the year comes to a close, FOX16 is taking a look back at how the community has helped us achieve our mission of declaring Victory Over Violence in 2019.
We started off 2019 showing how the power of volunteering in public schools can change a student’s life. Patty Waddell, known as Momma Waddell to students, spent time reading with kids at Little Rock School District’s Baseline Academy.
Students at LRSD’s Forest Heights Stem Academy used their voices to help bring awareness to gun violence. The school’s choir decided they wanted to donate their concert money to L.O.V.E, or Let Our Violence End, which partners with FOX16’s Victory Over Violence campaign.
Over the summer, Little Rock’s Be Mighty Campaign made sure kids didn’t go hungry while on break from school. 54 locations across the city offered free summer meals. Churches, community centers and other organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club were also part of this program. In just one day, they served 5000 meals across the city.
A program called PARK, or Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids, continued to motivate high school aged kids over summer vacation. The summer program allowed the kids a chance to continue sharpening their educational skills, while also adding in a sprinkle of fun by doing things like science projects.
Kids were not the only focus of FOX16’s Searching for Solutions series. We showed how former inmates were being part of the solution by living at transitional homes and volunteering their time at the Healing Waters Outreach Center in Shannon Hills.
Those at Union Rescue Mission also worked to break the cycle of domestic violence and addiction at the Dorcas House in Little Rock.
Despite being around for decades, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas faced some budge shortfalls. We spoke with former members who said the club helped them tremendously when they were in high school.
“When I started going it just changed me. They were talking about things about how you should live and how you should take care of yourself and health issues that people are having nowadays that you can prevent,” Jaylin Harris, Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, said.
Back at LRSD, one man made it his mission to make sure students had the skills necessary to land a job by providing them with the opportunity to do real interviews with potential employers.
All of these organizations and people were critical pieces of helping Arkansas declare Victory Over Violence.