Community Coming Together for the KIds
Every year the “Piggsville” community, a small neighborhood in Milwaukee located near the Miller Brewery, hosts a small Halloween event for the local kids to have fun in their costumes. The event is typically headed by residents and spouses Tim and Tom, but this year the entire neighborhood decided the kids deserved more.
According to long-time resident Ivy Zamora, back in August, around five houses in the neighborhood were shot up, including hers. No one was hurt.
Instead of canceling the annual evening trick-or-treating event out of fear of violence, the residents expanded the Halloween event. The goal is to give the neighborhood children hope by working together.
Several residents put in money for a costume contest, which is a new addition this year. Their annual pumpkin patch will provide pumpkins to neighborhood families on the day of the event. Each year a local couple purchases the pumpkins and allows households with children to take a pumpkin or two as part of the annual tradition. There will be a live band, which is also a first.
The Halloween Bash will be held on October 22, 2022.
“We decided to add these elements to infuse a sense of hope as this Summer was a bit rough crime-wise with shootings on N. 39th Street,” said Zamora. “We wanted to come together as a neighborhood to give families a positive experience as a community.”
Friendly Neighbors and Neighborhood
Resident and nurse Yvonne Leitze said Piggsville is a friendly neighborhood where people feel safe, and they want to make sure it stays that way. She said it comes down to people speaking to one another and building relationships.
“If I’m in my yard…I make it a point to stop and take a minute to talk to whoever I see in my neighborhood,” said Leitze. “Don’t be afraid. Speak to people.”
Along with the expansion of the Halloween Bash, the residents have an informal food exchange on Saturdays for anyone in the neighborhood. The exchange includes produce, feminine hygiene to children’s books, and more. The residents have also been taking turns volunteering to pick up trash around the neighborhood.
“There are still communities in Milwaukee, even though we’re struggling, …that want to see each other thrive,” said Leitze. “There’s always somebody out there willing to help.”
Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.