As block parties break out all across Brown County Tuesday night during National Night Out, residents will have the opportunity to meet their neighbors, interact with local law enforcement and bolster crime prevention efforts. The evening will also present the opportunity to give back to a deserving local charity.
    The Brownwood office of Good Samaritan Ministries has partnered with local police this year to hold a canned tuna drive during the National Night Out festivities. Block party captains will be accepting the donations, which will then be collected and counted by law enforcement.
    The neighborhood with the most tuna donations will receive a trophy to commemorate the feat.
    Brownwood Assistant Police Chief James Fuller said his department was excited to partner with an organization that does so much work in the community.
    “One of the things that is good for National Night Out,” he said, “is not only to be out in the community, and to spread the word the way we do annually, but to also have something that gives a direct positive impact. An immediate positive. Good Samaritan Ministries works so well with the community providing the food support, and they’re always in need of protein items.”
    Misty Bowers serves as the Communications Director for Brownwood’s Good Samaritan office. She said then need for protein items was what led Good Samaritan to request tuna donations during National Night Out.
    “Protein is really hard to come by,” Bowers said, “so the extra ways to get protein is always really incredible.”
    Bowers said this was Good Samaritan’s second consecutive year to be involved with Brown County’s National Night Out. She said the food drive brought in more than 4,000 cans of tuna last year.
    “We’re hoping for at least 5,000 cans this year,” Bowers said.
    Bowers said all the tuna donations will go directly to needy area residents.
    Good Samaritan Ministries is a Christian nonprofit organization that serves the community in a variety of ways. In addition to its hunger relief programs, Good Samaritan operates a resale clothing store, provides financial assistance, delivers food to homebound residents and accepts donations from hunters to create venison for malnourished clients.
    “We’re just very excited that law enforcement has allowed us to be a part again,” Bowers said, “to join together with different groups just to let people know that there’s a need and you can do something. A can of tuna may not seem like a whole lot, but when you join that one or two cans of tuna with your neighbors … then it becomes something really huge. It’s going to make a big difference.”
    The “coveted tuna trophy,” as Fuller referred to it, will also be up for grabs.
    “The tuna contest is just another win for the community,” Fuller said. “There are so many folks in the Brownwood area that use the Good Samaritan Ministries, and they need that support.”
    In addition to the Brownwood Police Department, police throughout Brown County including Early and Bangs will be collecting block party tuna donations for Good Samaritan. National Night Out begins Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. The City of Brownwood Facebook page has a list of area block parties.