It was a hot day in the summer 2011 as a team of volunteers worked to cleanout the “manse” of the Bethany Presbyterian Church. This facility would become the Bethany House of Hospitality. On that day I met Elissa Horan.
Elissa whose family owns and operated the Horan Funeral Home a block away on Hamilton Ave. for many decades saw some activity in the neighborhood and came over.
It was a typical hot NJ summer day with heat and humidity forcing even the coolest of people to leave puddles while standing still let alone doing manual labor. In between my demolition of the kitchen I was checking on the volunteers and met Elissa.
Later that day we met with others at Trenton Social for lunch and the friendship took off.
During the lunch we shared our backgrounds, thoughts on Trenton, projects and visions. At that point we knew we were kindred spirits.
Since that initial meeting and chat over food we have partnered on several projects all with bettering Trenton in mind. Elissa created the organization CARE Trenton. The focus of the org is to cleanup, beautify and to make Trenton better. This began when Elissa started cleaning around the outside of her home and the home she grew up in by picking up litter and organizing trash for pickup. This progressed to cleaning around the block and soon other residents were getting involved.
CARE Trenton would then grow to organizing cleanups around the city with a simple idea that having clean, litter free streets would benefit everyone. Since the vision is to make Trenton better for everyone, CARE Trenton has partnered with several other groups who have the same vision. In the 2+ years I have known Elissa, CARE Trenton has organized cleanups at Columbus Park, Hamilton Ave, Roebling Wireworks, Franklin Park, Roma Bank Triangle, Sacred Heart Triangle and Villa Park. Partnering organizations have included TCCA-Trenton Council of Civic Associations, Villa Park Civic Association, Chambersburg Civic Association, Old Mill Hill Society, Berkley Square Civic Association, FPNEBA-Franklin Parks NE Block Association, 1st Baptist Church of Trenton, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, TCNJ-The College of New Jersey Bonner Center, several local small businesses and many others.
|l-r Carol Rogers, Jim Halliday, Robin Erfe, Gabrielle from Social, me and Elissa Horan|
In the spring of 2013 a resolution was presented to Trenton City Council by Councilwoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson to recognized CARE Trenton as an official organization whose focus is to make Trenton cleaner, safer and more beautiful for everyone.
As the vision of CARE Trenton is seen by others you can expect more collaboration and partnering all with making the City of Trenton Better!