A group of volunteers called 204 Volunteer Inc. recently celebrated five years of making Winnipeg a safer community.
Leila Castro is the founder of the group called 204 Volunteer Inc.
"204 Volunteer Inc. was previously 204 Neighbourhood Watch," says Castro. "We started in 2017 as a very small group, not known. [Back then] CHVN was one of the media outlets that allowed me to share my message. The impact of CHVN is different to the people."
The group mainly advocates for safer neighbourhoods.
"Each year we learn the complexity of the problem, and why there is drug addiction in the city. Through this, we came across key organizations and government agencies. Even the Winnipeg Police Service reached out to us so we can collaborate."
This past December the group celebrated their fifth anniversary. Castro is also one of the administrators for the 204 Filipino Forum.
"We have also become advocates of blood donation of coloured people. It's something very critical because, among the brown-skinned people and other immigrants, it's not part of their culture to donate blood."
The group also helps out with events in Winnipeg that are looking for volunteers, including the Alzheimer's Run.
"We go out and do a safe walk once a week, normally Thursday evenings. We have done safe walks mostly in the north and west side of the city."
In a few areas of Winnipeg where groups of volunteers were naturally forming, 204 Volunteer Inc. brought them all the supplies needed to do the safety walks on their own. This includes vests, flashlights, first-aid kits, and a sharps container.
People that want to join and volunteer their time can find the group on Facebook.