It was books, backpacks, toys and basketball at the 2nd Annual winter edition of Peace In Da Paint, which returned to Walker-Grant Middle School with a series of games, vendors and giveaway. Officers from the Fredericksburg Police Department kicked things off by taking on teachers and staff from City schools. The teachers won.
The event was organized by locals Kisha Turner and Kentrale Washington. Gary Holland from Advocacy-Collaboration-Transformation dressed as Santa Claus to greet kids as they arrived. This year’s effort aimed to give out 50 coats and 100 toys to area children in need, in addition to fostering connections with area youth at a time of year when some need it most.
According to at least one teacher, the efforts made an impact.
“It’s an opportunity to see our youth have a safe and fun place to go where they can connect with current leaders in the community as they work towards becoming our future leaders,” said Walker-Grant Middle School business teacher Rosella Sprow.
While organizers had a ready supply of gifts for young children, presents for teenagers were harder to come by. According to Turner, the group is always looking to partner with area businesses that are willing to provide or purchase gift cards for older kids not just for Christmas, but for making honor roll and other instances of good behavior.
Interested sponsors can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The 11th annual Peace In Da Paint will return next summer.