In recent days, people throughout our nation have despaired as they have witnessed acts of violence in the news and wondered “What can be done?”

A group of community leaders in Hillsborough County called Safe & Sound has attempted to answer that question by helping to create small, neighborhood-based programs to bind communities together and try to ensure that children don’t fall through the cracks.

WHAT: A tour of a small, thriving neighborhood summer program in a facility that until recently was an empty building. As a result of community input, the Board of County Commissioners, the Children’s Board, and Safe & Sound Hillsborough collaborated to fix up the facility and open it for youth summer programs.

Though the City and County have larger summer programs serving more children, the revitalized Kings Forest Recreation Center is a symbol of the collaboration that must happen – and is happening – to provide youth in Hillsborough County a place to go this summer.

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WHEN: Friday, June 24, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Kings Forest Recreation Center at 8008 E Chelsea St., Tampa (just south of the Florida State Fairgrounds)

WHO: Public Defender Julianne Holt (Safe & Sound chair), County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, Children’s Board Executive Director Kelley Parris, Safe & Sound Executive Director Freddy Barton, and other community leaders.

DETAILS: The Kings Forest Recreation Center is a small facility serving approximately 50 children ages 6-14 this summer. It was recently an unused building, and has been revitalized. The children at Kings Forest participate in sports, educational programs, are surrounded by positive role models, and receive lunch and snacks – all for free. For many of the children, other summer programs were out of reach, due to distance or due to the cost.

Article courtesy of City of Tampa Florida