By Leila Castro
At least 60 people gathered in Sinclair Community Centre on June 28 to celebrate the fist year anniversary 204 Neighbourhood Watch Inc. Tyndall Park MLA Ted Marcelino and Maples MLA Mohinder Saran were present in the event.
Generous donors Emy and Manny Adao of Bakerite, and Vivek Sharma of Pizza Pizza Logan-McPhillips branch brought food. Other sponsors who came to celebrate with us were Rhodel and Mabel Climacosa of AIM World and Climacosa Services, and Cy Rocero. CityNews and Papa Dee AYOS! made the media coverage. 204 Filipino Marketplace Admin and Tupperware U.S. & Canada Two Star Director Elaine Tumbokon donated raffle prizes. Sinclair Community Centre management allowed us to use its function hall for free.
Looking back, 204 Neighbourhood Watch was formed last year after an alarming incident involving a teenager who was robbed and threatened by two men with machetes. A week after the incident, a planning meeting was held where James Favel of Bear Clan was invited as resource person. On June 26, the first 204 Neighbourhood Watch patrollers and Bear Clan gathered at the Seven Oaks immigrant Services Office at Jefferson St for the group’s very first patrolling.
Patrollers walked to Marlow Court, the area where the robbery incident happened. On the months that followed, every Wednesday, 204 Neighbourhood Watch went to areas where there were requests to patrol. On the start of winter, the patrolling day was changed to Thursday. Realizing the value of spending time to build connection among the volunteers through conversation, and to debrief from any negative encounters during the walk, we reduced the walking time to include a one hour community conversation.
Other than the weekly patrolling, 204 Neighbourhood Watch has been active in various volunteer works. In August year, it assisted at the shelter that housed the indigenous communities displaced by wildfire. In December, volunteers delivered Christmas hampers to houses at East Kildonan. During the snow storm in January, volunteers roamed around the city for people needing help with their stuck cars. 204 Neighbourhood Watch Leader Joe Baldo assisted a couple needing a ride going to their baby’s medical check up. The baby was suffering from allergy and the transportation that the couple arranged did not make it to their place because of the storm. 204 Neighbourhood Watch also attended various safety forums and community events to talk about safety issues in the community. It partnered with Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. The latter tapped the group to serve as marshals at the Walk for Alzheimer’s event held in Assiniboine Park.
The group also volunteered to marshal various community and cultural events. 204 Neighbourhood Watch also helped in searching for missing persons.
The group has now more than 40 active volunteers, a huge increase from the time last year when we had only 6 patrollers. Still, it is far from the number of volunteers we hope to have to accommodate the many requests to patrol areas, and to increase the number of patrolling days. We need more patrollers, we invite those who have passion in volunteering to join our group. Connect to our fb 204 Neighbourhood Watch Inc. for our announcements and updates.