Outraged at all the violence around Indianapolis? Want to find a way to make our community a safer, better place to live?
Here are a few ways to put that energy to good use:
1. Mentor a Child: http://www.bebigforkids.org/
2. Tutor a child: http://indyschoolonwheels.org/programs/after-school-tutoring
3. Become a foster parent: http://www.in.gov/dcs/2984.htm
4. Read to children: http://www.uwci.org/programs/readup
5. Become a court-appointed special advocate: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/galcasa/
Children who are disconnected and disengaged from their families and community are more likely to feel unloved and engage in violence, according to Mindi Goodpaster, Public Policy and Advocacy Director for the Marion County Commission on Youth.
“When they have adults that care about them and can help guide them, they’re more likely to make better decisions,” said Goodpaster. “Gangs are the result of children who have no positive supports or influences in their life and that’s what the gang provides them.”
6. Help at a food pantry: http://indywithkids.com/volunteer-opportunities-for-kids-in-the-indy-area/
7. Serve dinner to families: http://www.maryrigg.org/
Goodpaster said when families can’t provide food and clothing for their children, it causes a great deal of stress.
“It can result in children stealing food or stealing things to provide for their family,” said Goodpaster. “If you have a child who is chronically hungry and tired, it has a significant impact on their mood to critically think.”
In other words, children who are loved and well-fed and clothed, are more likely to make good decisions and less likely to engage in violence.
Here are the facts: Indianapolis is yet again on pace for one of its deadliest years ever. We reached 100 homicides faster than any other year in the past 20 years, we broke records last year, and we're on pace to do so again this year.
WATCH | Boy wants the violence to stop
We had a discussion on Facebook Live earlier Thursday, talking about why we released video from the immediate aftermath of a homicide scene, and how we can make our community better. Watch that below.