Florence Neighborhood development – Making Friends, Strengthening Relationships, Sharing Talents

A Kansas Animator Network spotlight from Animator Les Allison

A story of connections in the neighborhood:

“I had invited the Florence United Methodist Church to have a ‘block party’ on October 29th behind the church , the church agreed. Linda (my wife) and I invited the closest eight doors to the church and their friends to attend just for the purpose of getting to know each other better. We had 20 in attendance enjoying making friends over hot dogs, hamburgers and playing ‘corn hole’ games.

One of the people there was a 13-year-old boy that expressed an interest in finding odd jobs to earn some money for his family. He didn’t have a mower that would work but said he would be glad to push one for anybody in town. Linda asked him to help clean up Betty’s yard (an 89-year-old lady) he agreed and worked really well on the activity.

Encouraged by his eagerness to work I connected James to the Masonic Lodge in Florence to see if they would help him find work. The Lodge officers did more, the Lodge gave him a small business grant (of a new push lawnmower, gas can, oil and gas) He was ecstatic. I then connected him with the city office, thinking the city might help him advertise his new business. James talked to the administrative secretary of the city and she agreed to help by making him personalized business cards and encouraging him to put a note in with the water/trash billing going to basically all households in Florence.

My plan is to develop a neighborhood directory that will aid in the community sharing their gifts and making connections that will make the community stronger.”

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