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Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods, Oct. 18, 2014

G.A.I.N., Oct. 18, Sat, 2014, Harmon Park-Solidarity in Community Building...

G.A.I.N. is a day for the police to show their appreciation for those in the community that support their efforts in the day to day fight against crime.

This year, as in the past, there are multiple neighborhood events throughout the city. Most events are scheduled for October 18, 2014. This is the fourth year participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition (CAC) have been present in one or more communities. It was another huge success for community building and safety!

Judy Butzine, Director of the CAC, met her team of volunteers to facilitate the beaded bracelet, art making activity with purpose...These young ladies are all students at Lowell Elementary about three blocks from Harmon Park in a program termed Wake Up!

"Wake Up!" "The Better Wake Up!," more formally known as the Community Efforts to Abate Street Violence Program, was created in 1996 and targeted seventh and eighth-grade students throughout Phoenix. The program created a partnership between the schools, area businesses, the Phoenix Police Department, and community leaders. All students were allowed to join. However, to stay in the club, each student was required to abide by its rules. The rules focused on staying away from gangs and criminal activity while behaving well at school and home.

As Senator John McCain (E-AZ) explains, "Wake Up! makes youth aware that choices exist and that bad choices, often made in an instant, can drastically alter the rest of their lives."

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was one of the first public officials to be on site and begin the day’s activities at 0830 speaking with these young ladies... the 7th and 8th graders were learning how to make the elasticized bracelet to teach all those at the event.

Organizing this program is one of the many responsibilities of Eva Ordóñez Olivas

Executive Director/CEO ( Central City South Neighborhood, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation (PRC), a non-profit community development corporation dedicated to the revitalization of neighborhoods by facilitating community improvement projects, and the maintenance and creation of low-income and workforce housing pictured with Mayor Stanton.

Mayor Stanton continued to visit the many booths which distributed educational and resource materials as everyone present ate a free pancake breakfast...

Councilwoman Kate Gallego, District 8, was also present to welcome the community and to encouage the participants to fillout comments cards on the jet noise disruptions in the neighborhoods from a recent flight change pattern at Sky Harbor...

The two beading tables welcomed persons of all backgrounds and ages to create a beaded bracelet of intention that reveals their stories by the use of self-selected beads available from around the world.

This Reflective Action Learning Activity compels one to choose beads thoughtfully and to use their eyes and hearts to communicate through symbols, colors and designs while connecting to personal stories and ourselves. Everyone left with a bracelet.

In the background of this second image above we see Police Officer Ben Morris, Community Action Officer, and Officer Terry Mills, Wake UP School Resource facilitator.

Both of these gentlemen along with other community members of the police department have a police mission: "Policing with a Purpose" This includes the following criteria:

Nurture and Protect Democracy, Ensure Justice, Promote Spirit of Service, Support Fundamental Fairness and Protect our Community from Harm.

All of the events of the G.A.I.N. programming include Fun activities that support and promote community and relationship building with distribution of social service materials. There was lots of music, games, the playgroup, a walking path to inspire exercising daily and finally the Conga line.

These community building and safety events could not occur without the assistance of many volunteers and city personnel. Thank you Zona Pacheco, Coordinator of the Community and Supportive Services (CSS) Program, for the HOPE VI Matthew Henson Revitalization Project and her team of ASU Social Work Interns like Erica who not only learn while being on site at this huge public housing facility but contribute significantly to its operation.

It is always a gift to work with these compassionate giving individuals who make our city a more humane environment for ALL...

judy butzine, MSW, Director of Cultural Arts Coalition...

The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3, a nonpartisan organization in existence since 2005: stimulates creative, analytical and leadership development for personal transformation and collective change through celebrations and multidisciplinary learning experiences.