ADAPT’s 154th Day Program launched a week-long, “We Love Our Community Campaign” May 15-19 to spruce up the block and make connections with local community members, senior centers, schools, and businesses. The goal of the campaign was to perform community service for the benefit of the public and to give back to the Harlem community.
The adult program team kicked off the events by donating over 100 plants to local seniors for Mother’s Day at the Harlem River Houses Senior Center. Led by Aundre Todman, Njeri Williams, Darryl Lewis and Emma Smith, the hard working staff, individuals, and volunteers planted 100 flowers and distributed them as a Mother’s Day gift for the seniors at the Center. The Polo Grounds Seniors and JCI Center heard of ADAPT’s donation to the Center and were so impressed that they wanted us to plant for them as well. Jeffrey Gale, Yvonne Melendez and Shakira Robinson, Denika Fleming, and Tim Lott from the TOP program assisted with delivering the plants to these two additional senior centers.
The next project was conducted with the help of student volunteers from Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School. Together with the students – led by Njeri Williams – staff and individuals planted several garden beds and tree pits along 154th street to beautify our block. Their hard work with the tree pits and garden was incredible – several neighbors even joined in on the gardening activities. At one point, a local neighbor came out to thank Njeri and the individuals for their work in the community. Later this year, the site plans to dedicate a tree to this gentleman and his son. He greatly appreciates 154th street’s efforts and now plans to be more involved with his local community.
The volunteers also helped facilitate activities such as exercise groups, participated in Karate Class, and practiced job interviewing with the Work Preparedness team. The 137th Street Team’s Yudelka Matta and Sarah Sipes also led an Anti-Bullying Workshop.
Nigel Nero, Director of 154th Street Day Program said, “A special thanks goes to New York Restoration Project, who donated soil and wood chips in order for our group to be able to plant in the garden beds. The NYRP team provided an orientation to gardening techniques supplies as well as technical oversight to our teams.”
Nero added, “I also want to thank my colleague, Sacha Amry, who he helped me envision this a year ago as we collaborated to create the first beautification event. This year, the program has grown from a one-day event to a week-long fun-filled project, but this dream could not have culminated without Sacha.”