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Organizers hope to stop violence in Northwest Roanoke neighborhood event

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A Stop the Violence rally is hoping to send a message in a community in Northwest Roanoke.

The event started on Friday at 10 p.m. and organizers tell us they wanted to do it at a time when crime would likely happen.

"We felt this was needed in our community and the whole city because if you noticed and checked the stats five months into the new year we had six murders," says Terence Gardner, Deacon with Faith Ministries. "That's high for Roanoke, Virginia and a lot of it is over nothing."

What's unique about this event is that they wanted children to be part of it.

A non profit organization called Roanoke Role Modelz is giving away backpacks full of school supplies for children.

We spoke to families who are benefiting from it.

One woman told us the organization not only helped them cover school supplies but be a positive influence to her children.

"Especially my twelve year old -- he grew a lot of independence and a lot of self confidence and just really get open and open to more people and not be so shy," says Latoya Green. "It means so much to him."