On January 15th, YO S.O.S. and youth intern Migel Haynes organized the “Block the Shots” basketball tournament and day of service in collaboration with Repair the World. There were more than 85 people in attendance and together, they packed 105 bags with school supplies and winter gear, made poster art inspired by the words of Dr. King, and played in a three game youth vs adults tournament.

In addition to the YO S.O.S. presence at the event, Justice Community Plus interns and youth in the Anti-Gun Violence Youth Employment Program assisted by completing set up and clean up tasks, working the sign in table and refreshment stand, dj-ing, and making announcements throughout the event. Tiffany Murray, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy Program Manager spoke at the event about the importance of reducing violence and building community. Guests from AWAY and Peace Direct also attended and donated new suitcases to be raffled at the event. Make It Happen staff and participants were also in attendance playing in the tournament and cheering from the crowd. During half time, a dance troupe provided entertainment to the audience.

In the days following the event, youth interns and participants visited St. John’s Place Family Center in Crown Heights and Providence House in Bed-Stuy to deliver the backpacks of supplies to children and families. One pre-school age child opened his bag and exclaimed, “A ruler! …It’s MY ruler.”

More photos can be found at facebook.com/sosbrooklyn, facebook.com/yosos, and on Instagram @soscrownheights and @youthorganizing.