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Community gathers for Baskets Not Bullets event

JACKSONVILLE – Members of the northwest Jacksonville community are doing what they can to combat violence with love by shooting baskets instead of bullets. 

On Saturday, a Baskets Not Bullets event took place at Simonds-Johnson Park.

“Our goal is to let the community know that we are here and we are present,” said Tillis DeVaughn, program manager of Bridges to the Cure. “And our goal is to prevent violence in the community.”

Mario McKinney lived in Washington, D.C., before moving to Jacksonville. 

“Being from the D.C. area and moving to Jacksonville, we see the same problems plaguing the community down here,” McKinney said. 

DeVaughn said the objective is to love the community and let them know that they are cared about.

“The community children are my children,” DeVaughn said. “See the back? Ubuntu. It means, ‘I am because we are.’ We want the rest of the community to see its not a northside problem. It’s a Jacksonville problem.”