What the world needs now is a whole lot more of this. The Kalamazoo Neighborhood Association has been partnering with the City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety to host Pop-Up Block Parties for Kalamazoo residents. These events are an opportunity for members of KDPS law enforcement to interact with area youth in a fun, friendly atmosphere in the hopes of building lifelong connections and fostering much needed conversation.

These Pop-Up Block Parties are more than just fun and games; the great people behind the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center Street Teams make it an educational experience, too. They're intended to mix learning with arts and crafts, music, and food, all while giving families a break from isolation and opportunities to make memories. It's as important as it is fun.

The next Pop-Up Block Party is at the Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association Thursday, August 20th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. All residents are invited to come down, meet the cops on their beat, and help to build bridges between residents and law enforcement that are in desperate need of repair amid so much social unrest. This is a great opportunity to teach area youth that most police officers are the "helpers" we need in scary situations. Working to build that trust, compassion, and understanding is done one step (and maybe one Pop-Up Block Party hot dog) at a time.