Philly teen shares message of 'Peace, Love, and Water Ice'

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Along with cool scoops of free water ice on a hot day, children were dishing out a message to stop the violence.

Thirteen-year-old Aniyah Ayres is behind the Peace, Love, and Water Ice Tour, which has made multiple stops this week, including at 52nd and Market streets in West Philadelphia.

Passersby are welcome to free water ice and free bags of inspirational passages.

The goal is to shift the community's focus from violence to social justice, encouraging peace and love.

"A lot of people say, 'kids don't have a voice' or 'kids don't really know what's going on.' Yeah we do," Aniyah explained.

And their voices are being heard in this community.

Passerby Brian Nascelles stopped and said, "We have to stop the violence."

According to Rashon Lamar, "It wakes everybody up, and let them know that this is the direction these kids should be in."

Maria Vazquez, who works nearby, said, "Getting people to come and get free water ice is what's bringing everyone in, but I hope that people also see the bigger message."

This tour is part of Aniyah's Mission, a non-profit Aniyah co-founded with her mother Angelia Gibson-Ayres, in memory of her father, who Aniyah lost at only 2 years old.

Aniyah's Mission looks for opportunities to help their community all year long.

According to Angelia, "Before we celebrate Thanksgiving, we go and we serve the community. Before we celebrate Christmas, we bless families with Christmas who might not have had it."

"Just hearing them say 'thank you' and seeing them smile makes me want to do more," Aniyah added.

The Peace, Love, and Water Ice Tour leads up to the fifth annual Day of Peace on Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Transfiguration Baptist Church at 3732 Fairmount Avenue. There will be free family fun, food, and lots of giveaways.

Aniyah's motto is "Kids Can."

"I try to tell kids we have a voice and just always speak up of what's on your mind, of what you have a concern about- because like me- just saying 'peace, love, water ice', can make a big change in our community," Aniyah said.

There's one more water ice stop on the tour on Friday at 1 p.m. at Progress Plaza located at Broad and Oxford.

For more on Aniyah's Mission visit https://www.aniyahsmission.org
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