September 2017 Newsletter Message from the President

What Harvey Can Teach Us About Community

As the country recovers from the tragedy that was Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flooding created, we can look at moments of hope blossoming from this disaster. Ingrained in our memories will be one picture of an act from among the many heroic acts that happened during this historic storm. This is the picture of Houston SWAT Officer Daryl Hudeck carrying Catherine Pham and her 13 month old son Aiden through flooded streets to safety. While the country is involved in a debate over immigration, created by an administration which seems hostile to foreigners, this picture of hope emerges. From a storm that is affecting us all comes a picture of a man with a name of Slavic origin and a woman with a child of Vietnamese heritage brought together by happenstance in this catastrophe.

This meeting tells us something about our country. We are better than the bickering and vitriol that is seemingly part of our daily conversation. What we become in the micro from situations like this is a people who sacrifice for each other. We look out for the other person regardless of heritage, sex, age, or politics. We become sympathetic to his/her plight since we many times are in the same boat - pun intended. It is most likely, due to the scope of this event, that Officer Hudeck was affected personally by this storm and flooding; but he was there rescuing others. That is what makes a community - looking out for others.

In that same spirit, we must remember in Garden Court to look out for our fellow residents. The median age of our residents is about 34 which is comparable to that of the city as a whole. Included in our population is a percentage of elderly long term residents. Percentage wise we are predominately black and white, but among our population of 25,000+ residents are a myriad of heritages and cultures from across the world.

This makes our community vibrant; but along with this vibrancy we sometimes isolate ourselves into our niches. If anything, this picture of hope in the midst of tragedy could teach us not to wait until a catastrophe happens but instead to interact proactively with our community and neighbors. To say “Hi” to that kid with the sagging pants or to that person who might be from another religion or heritage whom we normally just pass without even a glance. We never know what terrible event might bring us together. But should we wait for a calamitous happening or should we get to know each other before tragedy pairs us? Pledge yourself to meet a new person each day in your community. You will be richer for it.

In line with this idea is the annual Garden Court Progressive Dinner. This is an event in its 24th year where our community members open their homes to serve delicious gourmet meals and engage in vibrant conversation. What better way to meet your neighbors than over a Belgian, Ethiopian, Italian, or Asian dish with accompanying drinks. So, start your journey into getting to know your community members better by buying a ticket for the September 30th Progressive Dinner. Let us get to know each other before fate forces us together and live up to the definition of Community....... noun: A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

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Garden Court Community Association

P.O. Box 16654

Philadelphia, PA 19139-0654

info@gardencourtca.org

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