The good will from Tuesday night’s National Night Out continued Wednesday morning at the Law Enforcement Center, where lawmen and representatives of Good Samaritan Ministries loaded 1,500 cans of tuna into a pickup bed for transport to GSM.
    The cans in the Law Enforcement Center training room were among those collected through National Night Out as part of a canned tuna drive to benefit GSM. It will be a few days before GSM has a final count on the number of cans collected, as some were already at GSM, and one business — United Supermarkets — is continuing the canned tuna drive through Friday.
    Leesa Stephens, executive director of GSM, said the agency appreciates the donations of canned tuna. “Protein is one of the most expensive items that we use in our food pantry, so anytime we can get donations of a lean, quality protein like tuna that will benefit everyone that takes advantage of the Good Samaritan’s services, then it’s a win-win for us,” Stephens said.
    “That way, we can have our funds to purchase the other items.  Right now some other items that are expensive and hard to come by are canned fruits, so when we get donations of tuna, we can use our resources for other items.”
    GSM is proud to partner with law enforcement on the National Night Out tuna drive, Stephens said. “It gives us an opportunity to connect all of the community, and that’s our goal for the coming year — to see all of the community in unity as we work — not just on National Night Out — but now Hunger Awareness Month, which is October,” Stephens said.
    GSM is sponsoring a community food drive for hunger awareness, Stephens said. “It’s an opportunity for al of us to come together as neighbors helping neighbors,” she said.
    Brownwood Police Chief Terry Nichols attended his first National Night Out in Brownwood. Nichols was familiar with the event from San Marcos but “nothing near as robust as he had here in Brownwood. This was by far a much larger event, much more publicized, much more community involvement than I’m used to.”
    Nichols described the event as “a blast,” saying he heard many positive stories from citizens about their encounters with officers.
    Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Vance Hill said Tuesday’s celebration “wasn’t as great a turnout as we had last year, but hopefully we can work to improve — especially the tuna drive, get a little more food for Good Samaritan. Not that I’m disappointed in any way. It’s always a great opportunity for the community to get together and meet their neighbors.