There are many neighborhoods across the country that are plagued with gun and gang violence.One of the reasons children may decide to get involved with gangs and other deviant behavior is because of a lack of support in the home.Another reason could be a lack of positive activities for them to engage in in the community.The economy and constant budget tightening have affected many localities and organizations alike.Sometimes, all it takes is a creative mind from an average and caring person to start an activity or program for it to blossom and make a positive impact in the community.
Such is the case with Lee Deyo from Cocoa, Florida.According to Floridatoday.com, Lee Deyo saw a problem in her community and decided to do something about it.The Crestview Villas apartment complex in Cocoa, Florida is considered a “hot spot” and was beset with drug dealing and gang violence.This complex was widely known as “800s” because it was dominated by a teen gang called the “800 Bound.”Ms. Deyo decided to start an after-school cooking program for children. Because of her efforts, as well efforts from the police working with the landlord to install a wrought-iron gate and surveillance cameras, the drug pushers have moved out and the gang members pushed out.
Most of the children in the cooking class attend the local elementary school and are very excited about the class.There, they learn not only how to cook, but also how to plan a meal, to budget, make a grocery list, and work together in a team environment.Much of the proceeds come out of Ms. Deyo’s pocket, however, an area church, Celebration Tabernacle, is now getting involved. Ms. Deyo wants to offer more classes such as sewing and auto mechanics.Keeping the kids active in a positive environment has been rewarding for this neighborhood and has provided the opportunity for the kids to learn valuable life lessons and a trade as well.
Many times, people want to help their community but don’t know how or where to get started.Often times, the simplest of ideas are the most successful.Try looking for partners such as a local church or an area community center that could provide a great venue to house a program or activity.If you need or want help, consider a person who is retired or a senior citizen who is open to volunteering their time and talent.Our seniors are an underused resource and have a wealth of skills and life experiences that could make a positive impact on a young person’s life. Don’t just be a bystander.Getting started may be the hardest step to take but the rewards are well worth it.
For additional information regarding the cooking class, visit: