Roanoke communities work to Bridge the Community Gap

ROANOKE, Va.- – Local leaders are hoping to bring people together this holiday season by Christmas caroling. Total Action for Progress or TAP is behind the event held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge in downtown Roanoke.

People from all walks of life braved the cold and windy weather to sing carols as another way to give peace to many neighborhoods filled with their own set of problems.

Before the event, Troy Gusler said it's all about working together. 

"Christmas is a time to be a little bit nicer to everybody , but it doesn't have to end on Dec. 26. It can continue for the rest of the year, because what's our future all about. We got to find a way to stay peaceful and work together," said Gusler, a special project manager. 

This is the second year in the a row the Melrose-Rugby, Loudon-Melrose and Hurt Park neighborhood alliances, along with Total Action for Progress collaborated on the event called Bridging the Community Gap.

Hannah Oakes says the Christmas caroling has a special effect to help reach their goal. 

"I was thinking about one voice and how people from all different aspects of life from all different locations in Roanoke are going to come together and sing the same words and the same notes and just be unified in that," said Oakes, employment relations specialist for Youth Build.  

Northside High School senior Phazhon Nash lives in Roanoke County but says he still wants to be part of helping to bridge the gap with the different communities. 

"It's still Roanoke at the end of the day. And we all still live in the same city and we all have to interact with each other and gather and assemble peacefully to make this city the best it can be," said Nash. 

Not only were there Christmas carols, but food was also collected to help families that need it the most this holiday season.