A Call for Change:
Imagine looking out of your bedroom window and seeing a half torn down hospital building with rubble hanging from all sides. Well, this was the view of a young boy that lives on Myrtle Ave in Newark, New Jersey.
After hearing an inspirational presentation about Be The Change, a woman approached Dr. Norma Bowe at a Fortune Builders event. She asked Dr. Bowe if Be The Change could transform a lot on Myrtle Avenue in Newark. The woman recieved Dr. Bowe's favorite famous answer, âyes,â and Be The Change began planning.
Creating Community Change in One Day:
After members of the group surveyed the lot they knew that gathering a large team would be the only way to make real transformation happen. At first, the group feared the lot would not be addressed before the cold weather hit. After posting the event multiple times on social media, volunteers started to sign up. A fraternity group said, âYes we will send a couple of our guys!â Next, a couple of other volunteers joined and said âwhatâs the address, Iâll be there.â This great news locked in the project.
Dr.Bowe and a small team went to Home Depot to pick up supplies. They were gifted with a $75 gift card from the generous people at Home Depot in Edison, NJ. Paint, ply wood, paint brushes, garbage bags, and rocks filled the back of a volunteerâs truck. And so, on Sunday September 27th approximately 28 volunteers gathered in the lot with bagels, coffee, and a mission.
The guys began mowing the lawn and the rest of the group began picking up trash. After several bags of trash were towed away, transformation began. Tires were painted with messages of inspiration and hope. Mums and pumpkins were placed in the center of the lot with clean soil. A bench for the elderly women that frequent the garden was placed near the flower beds. A beautiful mural with our simple yet powerful message âBe The Changeâ was created. The brown fence that surrounded the lot was painted white and covered in bright colored flowers and stems.
One corner of the lot was filled with weeds and garbage. After it was cleared the group discovered a pile of rocks. Unsure of what to do with the rocks, volunteers began writing things like âlove, peace and hope.â The pile became a piece of colorful artwork for the community.
Soon people were walking by complimenting and commending the work that was being done. A woman with her small toddler in a stroller walked by; the little girl screamed âI like it!â
Next, another woman was bringing candy, cold drinks, and even pizza for the entire group! Everyone was humbled and grateful for these responses.
Whenever Be The Change completes a project the physical space is never the same. It has more hope, more love, more peace, and more inspiration. On this day, Be The Change left a hand print on Myrtle Avenue. The volunteers gave the gift of transformation to the little boy that once looked out his window and only saw rubble and chaos.