Great, some of you may say, but why did it take a disaster of epic proportions to bring that side of people out? Well, here’s the thing – people are generally good and caring all year round. There are people who volunteer at churches and senior centers and ambulance corps every single day. There are people who give their time and money to Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and Little Leagues all year round.
So perhaps the question should be this, why does it take a disaster of epic proportions for people to notice that their neighbors are good, caring people?
Allow me to give you an example of caring and generosity that’s been going on for a few years with little notice. There is a group that was started and sponsored by the Glendale Kiwanis and Assemblyman Mike Miller called “The Forest Park Aktion Club.” The Aktion Club is a social group for developmentally challenged adults from various Independence Residence Inc. homes here in Queens.
In what has become a yearly tradition, the residents of Woodhaven come together to donate Christmas gifts to the men and women of the Forest Park Aktion Club. In years past, we held a collection for hats and gloves. This year, we collected money that will be used to take them on outings to the movies, their favorite group activity.
At the November Town Hall meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, we were proud to present a check of $500 to Leonard Licata, president of the Glendale Kiwanis, accepting on behalf of the Aktion Club. That gift came from the hearts of the residents of Woodhaven. It didn’t take a hurricane to prompt our residents to care; it didn’t take a disaster. The residents of Woodhaven saw an opportunity to do something nice, and they came together and did it.
And the Forest Park Aktion Club will be celebrating the holidays with their annual Christmas Party on Saturday, December 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 78-15 Jamaica Avenue. If you want to experience something good for the soul, drop by and wish the men and women of the Forest Park Aktion Club a Merry Christmas.
Typically, costumed characters such as Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and, naturally, Santa Claus, all make an appearance, courtesy of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and Woodhaven Business Improvement District. The reaction these characters elicit from the group members is nothing short of amazing and shouldn’t be missed.
This party is part of a terrific holiday season kickoff weekend in Woodhaven, starting with the tree lighting on Friday, December 7. Our Christmas tree may have been knocked down by Sandy, but the residents of Woodhaven will gather all the same to ring in the holiday starting at 6:30 p.m. Then the Christmas Parade will make its way down Jamaica Avenue on Saturday afternoon starting at noon.
Looking for a good spot to watch the parade? Why not join your friends and neighbors at the office of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, 84-20 Jamaica Avenue, at our 2nd Annual Parade Watching Party (our doors open at 10 a.m.). Bring your noisemakers!
Also, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is holding a Toy Drive for children impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We will be accepting new, unwrapped toys for children at our office the night of the tree lighting and the day of the parade.
The residents of Woodhaven are generous and caring all year round, but they really come through in times of need and at the holidays. We are proud to be a part of this community. If you would like to learn more about us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (718) 296-3735.
One of the members of the Forest Park Aktion Club, with some friends, at a previous Christmas party.
The WRBA presents a check for $500 to Leonard Licata, president of the Glendale Kiwanis.