Kinston Teens
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The Kinston Teens Vision Garden

My Aunt Iris was one of the joys of my life. Never, ever have I met anyone who could brighten the room in the way that she did, make you laugh in the manner she did, or genuinely love and care about you in the way that she did. When she passed on December 16, 2015, it took an unimaginable toll on my family and myself. Though she had taken a turn for the worst several weeks before she passed, there was no way to prepare for the loss of such a bright fixture in our lives. Miss Iris Anne Hooks

For nearly twenty years, my aunt lived in a trailer on the corner of Chestnut Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. A couple years ago, she decided that living in a handicapped-accessible apartment in the Six Churches Plaza elderly apartment building downtown would better suit her needs. Subsequently, our family got rid of the trailer and cleared the lot. However, this left that corner lot, located beside a very busy roadway, vacant and unused. That’s why, in her memory, I have developed the Kinston Teens Vision Garden.

The Kinston Teens Vision Garden will be greenspace garden that we hope will build a sense of pride for the neighborhood’s residents, and enhance the beauty of that major roadway. With the help and support of Ivey’s Garden Center, we’ve designed how we’d like the garden to look, and have selected the perfect native plants and grasses that will make this space truly come alive. And thanks to Corporate Resources, the lot will be embellished with a beautiful sign signifying the garden and the mission of Kinston Teens.

Community beautification projects, such as this one, are known to make great impacts. By improving our community’s appearance, we help raise property values, attract business investment and spur economic development, attract visitors, and improve the quality of life for its residents. Some research also proves that community beautification reduces crime, because the residents have an increased sense of pride and ownership in their neighborhoods when beautified.

We’re kicking off this project on Saturday, April 16 in conjunction with Global Youth Service Day - an annual event that gathers young people from around the world to lead service-learning projects that benefit their communities and the world beyond. Anyone interested in volunteering, donating supplies, or joining us for the groundbreaking of this project are invited to join us that morning at 10:00AM at the garden site.

We hope for this garden to be a bright fixture in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Corridor, just how my Aunt Iris was a bright fixture in the lives of everyone who knew her. We’re looking forward to the Vision Garden being gleaming, beautiful and prosperous—just like the vision we have for our community, and we’re sure that you share.

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Sow a seed into the growth of our Vision Garden!

Support our Garden in one of the following ways:
  • Sponsor a Wooden Bench for $300. On the bench will be a plaque signifying your contribution, and a quote from two young Kinstonians detailing their vision for our community.
  • Sponsor a Cleveland Select Pear Tree for $125. Near the tree will be a plaque signifying your contribution, and a quote from a young Kinstonian detailing their vision for our community.
  • Sponsor a Knockout Rose or Encore Azalea bush for $50. Your contribution will be signified in the garden, as well as a quote from a young Kinstonian detailing their vision for our community.
Make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount to Kinston Teens by clicking here, or by mailing your donation to us at P.O. Box 2625, Kinston, NC 28502.

Kinston Teens Vision Garden Groundbreaking Saturday, April 16, 2016 - Global Youth Service Day 10:00AM 601 Chestnut Street, Kinston, NC 28501

Call (252) 522-8012 or email if you'd like to contribute to this project or assist in a special way.

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