Students in Howard Payne University’s Social Work Club and Criminal Justice Club recently participated in National Night Out, a community wide event for crime and drug prevention through community awareness and interaction with public servants.


Members of the Social Work Club volunteered with Good Samaritan Ministries of Brownwood to help collect canned goods donated during the event. The Criminal Justice Club hosted a registered National Night Out stop on the HPU campus to honor first responders.


Local residents were encouraged to spend time with their neighbors and local law enforcement during National Night Out. According to Good Samaritan, many neighborhoods in the Brown County area planned block parties, cookouts and visits with local police and city officials as part of the event.


Law enforcement from the Brownwood Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Early Police Department, Bangs Police Department, area fire departments and other officials were represented at local NNO events.


Destiny Sharp, president of the HPU Social Work Club and a senior from Brownwood majoring in social work, emphasized the evening’s value to help create a unified community that will contribute to positive change in individual citizens’ lives.


“National Night Out brings back the sense of community,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to bring everyone together. It’s also amazing to see how much of an impact we can make on the community by coming together as one. It was important for the Social Work Club to be involved because we each truly have a heart for helping others – it’s important to us to help others feel worthy.”


Sierra Ross, president of the HPU Criminal Justice Club and a junior from Galveston majoring in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and social science with an emphasis in jurisprudence, said the opportunity the event provides to connect with public servants in a personal setting is particularly valuable.


“National Night Out is a fantastic event that allows the community to thank our first responders – policemen, firemen and EMTs – for their service,” said Ross. “The Criminal Justice Club has participated in this event for several years and it continues to be a fun and educational experience. Our interactions with local first responders have provided us with first-hand knowledge of their duties.”


For more information about the National Night Out and Good Samaritan Ministries of Brownwood, visit


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