By Rebecca Lujan Loveless
Scott and Sammi, residents of The Palms Trailer Park on Orange Blossom Trail, care about their neighborhood. When asked what they think would make The Palms a better place to live, they said, “A place where friends and family can gather to barbecue, socialize and have kids play safely.”
They believe that having this community space will bring people together to get to know one another, which will lead to more trust between neighbors and even diminish petty theft and fighting.
“When you know your neighbor and they know you’ve got their back, they’re less likely to pick a fight with you over stupid stuff,” Scott said.
There is a grassy area at the front of the neighborhood between the Trailer One Community Center and Palms Chapel that is not used or fenced in. The area borders one of the busiest streets in Orlando. Kids wait for the bus in the morning, playing on the sidewalk while 18-wheelers race by. The space has dead shrubbery and is riddled with ant piles and weeds.
Scott sees this area not as the “eyesore” that it currently is, but as a blank canvas that, if treated properly (with the help of neighbors and other donors), could turn into a place where friendships are grown and ideas and dreams are shared.
Scott is a Master Welder and landscaping expert. He spent time and energy creating a blueprint for a professional BBQ Pit, Smoker and Griddle. He also plotted out the landscaping plans, soil grading and re-fencing that he says will be necessary to create a space that is peaceful, safely protected from the busy street and able to hold a vegetable and herb garden.
The project can be accomplished for less than $1,000. Scott and Sammi have already been going door to door, to neighbors, with hand-drawn fliers showcasing the plans, asking people to pitch in. Scott has also called several companies to ask for donations of cement block, sand, equipment etc. He is committed to seeing this idea come to fruition.
And he could use your help! Please donate to POLIS and indicate “Project: BBQ” and your tax-deductible donation will directly support this effort. You can also give of your time and talent, or provide some of the necessary materials. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. Help Scott and Sammi make their community a better place.
Oh, and come by and join us for a barbecue soon!
Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-lesson course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.