I grew up in a very suburban neighborhood, in an area where parked cars were not locked up at night, and windows were left open unattended even if you planned on leaving the house all day. Of course, no community can boast 0% crime, but it was a great place to grow up, secure, and it let the kids in my neighborhood be kids without fear.
Living in the Chicagoland area now, even in the ‘burbs’, crime is definitely more prevalent here. And so is the National Night Out Against Crime campaign. It’s been around since 1981 and since that first year, has grown from roughly 3% nationwide to encompassing all 50 states, over 37 million people, and continues to grow.
This is a particularly powerful awareness cause, with white awareness ribbons to distinguish itself form other groups. Crime is universal, and while night parades, 5ks, parties and rallies one night a year will not erase crime, it works in the same way that those white awareness ribbons do: to instill an attitude. Being aware of the problem makes solutions a much more realistic possibility. To be aware is to instill action.
So tonight, take a walk around your neighborhood and check out how many porch lights are on in honor of National Night Out. Or join a local event for NNO, bring some awareness ribbons to share, and keep the conversation going.