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Duncanville, TX

Young boys play a game of basketball with the local police to build strong relationships within the community. (Credit: Jocelyn Bolles)

As a resident for over 36 years, I’ve always believed Duncanville to be a really nice community in which to live, raise a family, and enjoy life — friendly neighbors, good schools, a church home, a community theater, a variety of local shops — everything that’s needed. But sometimes, just like with people, you need to re-kindle the community spirit and get the spark flying again. And that’s just what has been happening in Duncanville over the past several years. New ideas led to the DuncanSWITCH Street Market, an outdoor market named after the railroad switching tracks and train depot that helped found the city. In addition, “community conversations” were held in which local government officials, education leaders, business, civic, and church leaders met to learn and discuss how to build unity in a very diversified community.

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One of the results was that the Mayor and Council proclaimed October 29, 2016 as Community in Unity Day. Ten churches came together as diverse people to share stories and music about unity. They came together to bless Duncanville, support the police, draw people together and cast a vision for a Community in Unity.

The police force choir shows off their singing chops. (Credit: Jocelyn Bolles)

Youth shot hoops with the police and interactive booths provided hands-on activities about unity. The high school choir wowed us with a flash mob out of which drew a huge hand-linking circle. We came as individuals but left as neighbors standing hand-in-hand.

The Duncanville Community Choir gathers together to sing in harmony at the Community in Unity event. (Credit: Jocelyn Bolles)

Part of the Mayor’s proclamation requested that citizens were asked to give non-perishable food items and monetary donations to assist the Duncanville Outreach Ministry, the local emergency assistance agency. Providing help for people in need is a core value of a thriving community. Giving opens hearts and provides hope. Through the efforts of Duncanville Outreach Ministry’s director, Anita Davis, and the Reverend Dr. Ginger Hertenstein of First Presbyterian Church, $60,520 was raised for the 2016 campaign. Over the past four years, the amount raised totals $227,211. All of these funds go to assist people in Duncanville with limited resources who find themselves in crisis.

Friends huddle for a photo-op at the Festival of Hope to help support the Duncanville Outreach Ministry. (Credit: Jocelyn Bolles)

Some random acts of “niceness” include a local shopkeeper assisting an elderly couple whose keys were locked in the car, teachers voluntarily giving their “personal time off” hours/days to a fellow teacher whose young son was critically injured in a fall and required lengthy hospitalization, neighbors who regularly check with neighbors living alone to make sure all is well.

Residents having a blast at a festival. (Credit: Jocelyn Bolles)

As is the case in so many nice places all across America, ours is a work in progress. There is always more to be done.

Duncanville Community Holds Hands in Sign of Unity, Neighbors Become Friends

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