Equality. Freedom. Justice. Taking care of the Earth. Helping those in need. Giving back. Fighting for what’s right. No matter what you are passionate about, it doesn’t take much to make a difference in the community.
After George Floyd died during an arrest on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, protests sprung up in the U.S. and around the world in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement. #BlackLives Matter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Now, Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc., is a global organization in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, whose mission is “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state an vigilantes,” according to its website. “By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for black imagination and innovation, and centering on black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
On Thursday, June 4, Daniela Umunnakwe, an African American woman who has worked at Ida Claire in Addison for about two years, organized a peaceful protest in partnership with the Addison Police Department in support of Black Lives Matter.
“I have felt nothing but safe when I am in Addison; however, there has been so many black individuals that can’t say the same where they live,” Umunnakwe said. “I decided to organize a peaceful protest in Addison because we had not had one yet, and I felt like it was my calling to do so. I partnered with the Addison Police Department, the Addison Fire Department and Mayor Joe Chow to let them know about the peaceful protest. We have a lot of people with big hearts in Addison, and I felt like this was my duty to reach out and organize this.”
Hundreds of people showed up to this event, wearing masks and holding up signs that said, “Black Lives Matter,” “Enough is Enough,” “If Not Now, Then When?”, “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere” and more. The Town of Addison posted a statement on their Facebook page that read, “The Town of Addison supports its citizens in their right to peacefully assemble and the Town of Addison Police Department is here to ensure the safety of the participants, our officers and our community.”
After the event, they added pictures and a caption that said, “We’re proud of the peaceful demonstration that was held in Addison Circle Park today. The success of the event reinforces the partnership between the Town of Addison Police Department and our community.”
In addition to supporting this movement, you can also get involved in other issues as well. June is Pride Month, so it is a great time to spread awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and donate to your favorite organizations or companies who support Pride. It’s also a time to help out local businesses struggling after the shutdown or other issues dear to your heart.
Other ways you can help out the community is by giving back to your favorite organizations. Metrocrest Services assists families, individuals and senior adults who are coping with crisis situations, need help stabilizing their lives or who require support to live independently in Addison, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Coppell and the City of Dallas in Denton County.
On June 8, Metrocrest Resale officially re-opened to the public, offering gently used clothing, décor and furniture to the community. They are open for shopping and donating from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and require a mask.
In addition, Metrocrest Services has seen a 245% increase in visits to their food pantry over the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help out by donating money or volunteering your time to help. Giving $25 provides 175 pounds of food; $50 feeds 14 people for a week; $150 sends five kids back to school with supplies and backpacks; $300 provides rent assistance to a family to prevent eviction; and $500 provides food for 100 seniors.
Don’t have extra money right now? Give something else just as valuable – donate blood! According to Carter BloodCare, their blood supply is in critical condition right now. “All blood donors are needed now,” stated their website. “The coronavirus pandemic has had a compelling impact on all of us. With the cancellation of blood drives after the closure of schools, universities, colleges, businesses and houses of worship, the effect on the blood supply has been profound and sudden.”
Approximately 600 patients in area hospitals have blood transfusions every day ordered. You can go to the Addison Donor Center, located at 3955 Belt Line Road in Addison, to donate Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
The only way to get through tough times is to come together as a community and support one another. Whether you want to fight for justice or save the trees or make sure little kids get dinner every night, you can do it. We are thankful for our community, which has such a big heart. Keep doing your thing Addison, we are in this together!