United Way provides grants for local National Night Out events

From staff reports

This year, The United Way of Venango County boosted the National Night out events locally by awarding mini grants to six community locations throughout Venango County.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work.

Traditionally, National Night Out events are held on the first Tuesday in August and include food, games and activities, information from local organizations, displays of apparatus and the opportunity for people to meet police officers, EMTs and paramedics and firefighters.

According to Will Price, executive director of United Way, “National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. United Way wants to provide a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Some of our children in Venango County only see our first responders in a crisis situation.”

United Way grants contributed to more than 1,500 local residents of all ages attending at the six locations. Each location that was awarded a grant had a committee that planned and executed their event, allowing each neighborhood to personalize the evening.

Officers from Oil City, Franklin, Venango County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police joined these National Night Out events.

First responders from local fire departments and ambulance crews also attended, bringing their vehicles and explaining their jobs to attendees.

“National Night Out events are a great way to establish relationships and build a rapport with people in the community, which can be helpful in a time of emergency. We’re grateful to have positive relationships with our neighbors because we live and work here too, and want to have open communication with the public,” said Trooper Michelle McGee, the community service officer with Franklin state police.

United Way of Venango County believes that the well-being of children and families is directly impacted by whether they live in a strong, stable, inclusive, and supportive community, which starts with investing in neighborhoods.


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