Spokane police, local artists give back to at-risk youth in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — This past year has been rough on all of us. Many adults haven’t been able to work and many kids haven’t been able to play.

However, there’s a new project keeping artists and hopefully kids a lot busier this summer.

“I went over it first. Then painted,” said Spokane artist Melanie Campbell.

“Even though you see the final product. There are layers and layers to get there. Kind of like life,” she said.

Lately, life hasn’t always been easy, especially for artists living in our community.

“With everything going on without us I think a lot of artists feel like, you know, I don’t know if I’m making a difference,” said Campbell.

When Campbell found out about a unique opportunity involving at-risk youth in the Spokane community, she couldn’t help but get involved.

“I just wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to give back to the community,” she said.

She painted two cornhole boards so that kids in the Police Activities League (PAL) program can have something fun to look forward to this summer.

“I hope they see it and say wow or they see it and it brings a smile to their face. Something bright and cheery in what could be dark times,” said Campbell.

“There’s a lot of thought, a lot of work, a lot of effort in these. They’re very pretty and we’re very happy with them,” said Sgt. Michael Schneider with the Spokane Police Department.

Schneider runs the PAL program in Spokane. The program, also known as the Police Activity League Program, was created by the Spokane Police Foundation back in 2013. The focus is to help build relationships between law enforcement and at-risk youth in the community.

“We certainly hope that we have that kind of influence that we could encourage them to take up hobbies that are good and wholesome and help them with their future,” said Schneider.

“I think PALS is amazing. I hope I get to play a game on the cornhole boards,” said Campbell.