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San Bernardino block party plans to give out free food, shoes and more

By in Press Enterprise on September 15, 2017

By Ryan Hagen

SAN BERNARDINO >> A group of 17 churches will gather Saturday to give community members food, shoes, clothing and hope.

The Community Block Party, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Anne Shirrells Park on the city’s Westside, will come one day before the one-year anniversary of the first block party hosted by San Bernardino Pastors United. The group, formed to prevent violence in the city, has held three other block parties since then, serving thousands of people each time.

“It’s going to take a village for us to raise up our families,” said Rev. Reginal Young, crisis coordinator for the group. “I believe we need to come together and make a grassroots approach to our homelessness, our economic issues. We want the community to know we’re there for them.”

The group will give out more than 350 pairs of new shoes for children and another 150 adult tennis shoes, backpacks for at least 100 children and other items on a first-come, first-serve basis, Young said.

There will also be entertainment.

“Everything is free, from the lunch that we’re going to serve them, soda, cotton candy, face painting, jumper — everything is free,” he said.

Guest speakers will be Mayor Carey Davis, Rev. Raymond Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Josh Beckley of Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, and Rick Alanis Jr. of Victory Outreach.

People have been thankful at past events, Young said.

“What we get from the people who come to the events is overwhelming unbelief, first, and gratitude second,” he said. “They find it hard to believe because we have so much poverty, so much crime and violence. It opens them up, it softens their heart.”

Young connects the city’s substantial drop in homicides since 2016 with positive, unified activities by San Bernardino Pastors United that started late that year.

“We believe it’s a direct […]    

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