Safe Streets
Development Associate Julia Mulliganiel puts luminary kits together. Photo courtesy: Safe Streets

Submitted by Safe Streets

Imagine community members walking through the streets, bundled up from the cold of December, anticipating the darkness that comes when the sun rolls away, but suddenly they turn the corner to find neighbors lining their sidewalks with dazzling, paper lanterns. This is the dream Safe Streets has for the night of December 21, the shortest and therefore darkest day of the year.

In the midst of an unusually anxious holiday season, Safe Streets felt everyone could use a night of joy and wonder. “We know people are struggling to feel connected, and that this is going to be a particularly difficult winter,” says Julia Mulliganiel, Safe Streets’ Development Associate.

On December 21, 1500 people will join together to illuminate neighborhoods, parks and businesses across Pierce County with luminaries. Participants are expected to light their sidewalks, driveways, and other areas of their neighborhood.

Safe Streets is providing households with all of the necessary materials. Generous local businesses have provided sponsorship to make the event happen, including Commencement Bank, Molina Healthcare and OBEE Credit Union. Additional funding is also provided by the City of Tacoma, Pierce County and the state of Washington.

Dominique Watkins, Safe Streets’ Communications Specialist, is looking forward to community members coming together to have a magical night while social-distancing.

“We’re hoping the luminaries can help bring light to neighborhoods and uplift anyone who might be feeling unhappy and lonely this year,” she says.

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