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North Little Rock nonprofit holds 'Sunday Funday' to tackle gang prevention

Carter's Crew in a collaboration with The Magic Food Bus hosted a Sunday Funday for families in North Little Rock Sunday.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Carter's Crew in a collaboration with The Magic Food Bus hosted a Sunday Funday for families in North Little Rock Sunday afternoon. They offered free food and resources for teens, children and babies.

Carter's Crew is launching a new youth gang intervention program called "UN-repeating the Cycle." It's designed to deter gang enrollment by targeting youth at risk in areas identified as hot spots for criminal activity.

"We were funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention to provide an intervention program for kids ages 12 to 17," said Carter's Crew executive director, Amber Govan.

Members walked through neighborhoods to invite families in the area to the event as well as sign up kids for the program.

If enrolled, they would be assigned to a case manager.

The program offers access to career readiness, job development, a food and clothing pantry, emergency financial support, group therapy and mentors.

"We want to get out here and let the kids know that we are thinking about them and we want to help them to make significant life outcome changes," said Govan. 

The Magic Food Bus is a family-owned effort out of Conway. 

Lance and Sarah Strickland say they've spent a lot of years in the restaurant business. They thought of the idea for the bus during the pandemic and decided to give back to local small non-profit organizations every month.

They, along with their own kids, 15-year old Emily and 13-year old Robert offered hot dogs, chips and cotton candy for families.

"I can definitely say we're not made of money. We would not be where we are without people helping us along the way," said Sarah Strickland. 

Lance says they're just trying to spread the love and let people who are in different situations financially be able to experience something that doesn't normally come to their communities. 

Mothers like Kay Kay Harden are appreciative of the efforts by the organization and family. 

Carter's Crew members knocked on her door to invite her and her family to the event. 

"It's too much violence going on and stuff like that. Like that 10-year old that was shot. That was a bad feeling and I have a 7-year-old and an 18-year-old and if something happened to my two princesses I wouldn't know what to do," said Harden.

Her 7-year-old daughter is too young for the program, but Harden says when she becomes of age, she wants to enroll her.