KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a nearly two-year break because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a community violence prevention group is back to continue its mission.
LightsOn KC recently relaunched its community initiative this Spring with a gathering at St. Luke's United Methodist Church.
"It's real important that those connections are created, and barriers taken down and new relationships formed," one of the event organizers, Pastor Steve Williams, said. "Kids see one another at school, they may not interact with them at school, but now that they've seen them at another event, they're free enough to talk to them and create those connections."
Tammie Willis brought her two sons to the event for a night of family fun.
"I think it's important to be able to get them involved in community and family activities," Willis said. "Life is pretty busy and because it's busy, you don't have a lot of quality time, but when you can come to an event like this, it's makes it fun and a nice evening and just enjoy yourself."
Event organizers said the point of the event is to bring people from different backgrounds to the same space and discover what they have in common.
For Willis, it's also about teaching her sons how to use their time wise and not fill it with negative behavior.
"If I teach them now how to be able to structure their time and what kind of things to do with their time, that can improve their lives," Willis said. "My hope is that they will continue that into adulthood, that they will make wise decisions when it comes to evaluating what kind of things to involve themselves in."