The Peace Dale Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative has continually collaborated with and supported local agencies with efforts that improve the community of Peace Dale.In 2006, the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale was in the process of launching a new program, Teen Jonnycake, designed to educate local teens about hunger in our community and to provide the opportunity to volunteer in our emergency food pantry.To ensure the success of the program we were in need of funds to employ a teen coordinator.The PDNRI readily provided seed funds in the amount of $2,000 and the program was launched in the fall of 2006.
Since its inception, Teen Jonnycake has had an average of 40-50 teens in the program every year.These teens have been instrumental in providing support to our emergency food pantry and many of our other programs.Teen Jonnycake members have collectively averaged between 800-1,000 hours of volunteer service time per year.The program has been so successful, it was named as Rhode Islandís 2008 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, has received Presidential Service Awards every year since its inception and regularly provides presentations at area schools and RI Community Food Bank conferences.The program is currently being replicated at a food pantry in Bristol.In addition, the program has enabled us to provide the position of Program Coordinator as part time employment to a teen in need in our community.Teen Jonnycake now has a number of donors who provide financial and in kind support to the program.None of this would have been possible without the initial support of the Peace Dale Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.
South Kingstown Police Department
I have been a police officer in South Kingstown for the past 25 years.When I started out as a patrol officer in 1986, the village of Peace Dale was an area that had the look and feel of a run down inner city neighborhood.There were run down commercial buildings as well as numerous homes in disrepair.This obvious visual blight sent a message to drug users throughout the surrounding communities that Peace Dale was an area to purchase and sell drugs.Since the inception of the volunteers from the Peace Dale Revitalization in conjunction with various police tactics, the village of Peace Dale has seen a dramatic turn around.The Peace Dale Revitalization volunteers are a true grass roots group who a better vision for the neighborhood and without their strong commitment for change I do not believe Peace Dale would be what it is today.This is not to say that the ultimate vision for the village is complete, because there is work that still needs to be done to reach its true potential
I hope that in the near future the village will have period lighting lining the streets, additional commercial space, and an increase police bicycle patrol.