SAN ANTONIO – In an effort to combat violence throughout the city, several organizations teamed up for an end-of-summer event with giveaways.
Organizers handed out food, school supplies and even offered back-to-school immunizations.
The event, called "Silence the Violence," was the end of a 90-day peace initiative and took place at the East Side’s Wheatley Community School on Friday.
Dozens of children happily waited in line for giveaways. Organizers said behind all the fun is a much deeper message.
"Our thought process is if we bring the community together, they're less likely to shoot each other because they know each other," said Derek Taylor, Stand Up SA director.
"It's not about the grownups. It's about these kids that are going to grow up and live in these neighborhoods after we're gone," parent Tony Sanchez said.
The event comes just a few weeks after a 4-year-old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting about 2 miles away. The case remains unsolved and residents are still on edge.
"I got a 5-year-old daughter. What if she goes outside and she gets hit? That’d be on me, but it's not my fault, so it really, really hurt me pretty bad,” parent Desiree Franks said.
Stopping the violence wasn’t the only thing on the agenda. Organizers were also trying to get children ready for the classroom.
“We're bringing all of that together to ease the fear in the community,” said Juan Rocha, with Wheatley Middle School.
“When there's a shooting, there's typically a retaliation shooting, so it goes back and forth, back and forth,” Taylor said.
Organizations and people who live and work in the community are trying to solve that problem.
“It's power in numbers, so power of attraction. We get them here under a positive attitude, positive events. Hopefully, they go on after they leave here with that positive attitude and rub off on others,” said supporter Adam Brown, with Elite Sporting Entertainment.
Program organizers said they plan to hold the event next year.