From Flowers by Lucy:
Today’s teens may be all about texting, but 14 youth living at Aberdeen Proving Ground got some face time recently when they spent an afternoon getting to know their neighbors.
On Good Neighbor Day, Sept. 7, teens and kids living in APG’s Patriot Village went door to door delivering 10 dozen roses – one stem at a time – to help them meet their neighbors. About 8,500 new jobs moved to APG through the 2005 Base Realignment Closure Act, bringing hundreds of new civilian families to work and, in some cases, live on post.
Many of BRAC movers find they have more furniture and household goods than will fit in government quarters. The 14 youth used the face time to spread the word about neighbors living just outside the Rt. 22 gate at Harford Family House, Inc., neighbors who could use that excess.
Harford Family House helps homeless families with children transition into stable, permanent housing. Starting with a single housing unit, HFH now has 23 housing units to help families overcome the root causes of their homelessness.
“With all the new people who’ve moved here with BRAC, these seemed like the neighbors we should reach out to in particular,” said Jim Weber, who owns two Flower by Lucy locations with his mother, Susie Mabe. Flowers by Lucy is an affiliate of the international floral wire service FTD, sponsor of Good Neighbor Day.
“Since the kids were already knocking on doors to welcome all their new neighbors, it seemed logical to let them know about Harford Family House, since they always need donations, especially furniture,” Weber said.
Sept. 7 was rainy, but a two-hour break in the early evening gave the14 youth, who broke into five mixed age teams, two hours to meet their new neighbors and let them know about their neighbor outside the gate. Participating in the service project were Tierra and Moses Ward; Chloi and Orion Hart; Anyea and Monae Simmons; Joseph, David and John Thomas Paramore; Mikayla Ewing; Miguel Ferreira; Gabby Hiltibidal; Anthony Chase; Ryene Sanders and AJ Chase.
HFH Executive Director Joyce Duffy explained the non-profit’s never-ending need for tables, chairs, beds, cribs, mattresses, night stands, lamps, couches and dressers.
“When families leave Harford Family House, they take all the furniture they used at the shelter with them to their new home,” she said. “We also need household items, appliances, electronics and other items used to stock, run and maintain a home.”
Duffy said that since the event, a handful of BRAC movers have stopped by to coordinate donations. A few BRAC movers made donations during the rise giveaway.
“We walked up and Orion said, ‘Here’s a rose and here’s a paper about Harford Family House and the lady pulled out $3. I didn’t want to take the money, but I did,” said Chloi Hart. “A guy who got out of a car and we gave hi a rose and the paper pulled out his wallet and gave up $10 for the homeless shelter. I was gasping!”
Good Neighbor Day, now in its 17th year, is an annual promotion of the floral wire service FTD. This is the first year Flowers by Lucy has participating by giving away a free dozen roses to anyone who asked, as long as they promised to give 11 of the stems away. The florist provided 10 dozen roses to the APG youth for their service project.
APG and its housing privatization partner Picerne Military Housing, are temporarily allowing Department of Defense and retired military civilians to reside on post while new housing is under construction.
Today’s teens are about more than texting and 14 Aberdeen Proving Ground youth proved it by going door to door Sept. 7 to give away roses to their new BRAC neighbors. They used the face time to tell BRAC movers about their neighbors outside the gate at Harford Family House. Participating were, from left, Tierra Ward, Ryene Sanders, Anyea Simmons, Gabby Hiltibidal, Joseph Paramore, Mikayla Ewing, David Paramore, Chloi Hart, Monae Simmons, Moses Ward, Orion Hart, AJ Chase, Miguel Ferreira and John Thomas Paramore.
Chris Finley, second from left, just moved to Aberdeen Proving Ground with kids (from left) Autum Finley, Destiny Hindelang and Lauren Finley, as well as wife Carole Finley, and kids Brittany and Christopher Finley (not shown). Dad’s a WOI stationed at APG to work for the 22 Chemi Tech Escort at Edgewood. Welcoming them to APG are, from back, David Paramore, Miguel Ferreira, Orion Hart and Moses Ward.
Marcia Wooten, third from left, moved from Eatontown, NJ, to APG with husband Channing Wooten, who works for the Department of Defense. Welcoming them to APG are, from left, Monyea Simmons, Tierra Ward and Anyea Simmons.
After receiving roses and a handout about Harford Family House, a handful of BRAC movers embraced the spirit of Good Neighbor Day by making cash donations. From left, Orion and Chloi Hart show off they $13 they received on behalf of the Harford Family House.