Communities come together to create solutions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Communities come together to create solutions

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Communities around the nation gathered Tuesday night to strengthen relationships during National Night Out.  For one local eastern Iowa community recovering from a recent murder, the event was about much more.

Mikaela Bond was just 22-years-old, and the mother of two young children, when she was shot in her Hope Avenue home in Waterloo this June.  Her murder remains unsolved. 

Just over a month ago, Bond's family and friends gathered at The Ferguson Fields Park for a balloon release ceremony in her memory.  During the ceremony, community leaders also spoke on the importance of working to end the violence.

"It is beyond just putting her beautiful face on a t-shirt. It is beyond this gathering today. It is what we do when we leave this gathering and how we live and conduct our lives; what we do in this community to stop the killing," said Waterloo Minister, Michael Muhammad.

Flash forward to the same park a month later - people coming together Tuesday with a goal of unity.

"With the state of the world today, you need a neighborhood watch to make sure everybody is looking out for each other and keeping everyone as safe as possible. It is a good idea for neighbors to know each other and stay in touch," said neighborhood association leader, Alvin Wright.

Event organizers hope that by sharing a simple meal with the people who live next door, neighbors will begin to create bonds of teamwork.

"It can't just be up to the Waterloo Police Department or the city council, it has to be a unified effort to move forward. We need to deal with our challenges together," said Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart.

The event was part of the National Night Out, an annual event with a goal of strengthening community relations.

Waterloo held 12 neighborhood events and Cedar Falls hosted one large event for the city.

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