Buy a Tree, Change a Life – Africatown Lantern Walk – STEM Fest

Sachin Ghatwal

For many folks, the Christmas tree is the central symbol of the holiday. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a sparkling fir. 

Mobile’s Pathway Church is assisting people in their search for the ideal Christmas tree while also providing aid to underprivileged kids throughout the world. 

The program is called Buy a Tree, Change a Life. 

buy a tree, change a life

All funds collected in excess of the price of the Christmas tree will be donated to designated charities. Buying a tree would help schools, women’s centers, and boys’ and girls’ clubs to aid the children in these communities.

Buy a Tree, Change a Life’s national director Kelly Johnson says the idea came about in 2012 while trying to help a family gather money to adopt an Ethiopian girl. Their inspiration grew from there.

There’s also the Rock Box for those who want to go above and beyond with their donations. It’s an opportunity for people to “overpay” for their Christmas tree. Whoever pays the most receives a bell ring and their name on the board.

Spreading The Thanksgiving Love 

spreading the thanksgiving love

For some, the Thanksgiving holiday started a little early, as the Authentic Life Church held its first-ever community Thanksgiving supper celebration.

The volunteers piled up the plates with the traditional foods of the season. Everyone in the community was welcome to attend the free event.

Church leaders have stressed the importance of serving others during this holiday season.

Wonderful volunteers prepared and served meals to everyone who came. With this year serving as a pilot program, organizers are hopeful for future attendance increases. 

They have no idea what the next year holds, but they do know that this is not the last community event they will host. Serving others is central to their philosophy.

Volunteers were singled out for the church’s gratitude for their hand in the success of the event.

A Heads-Up on Garbage Pickup 

a heads-up on garbage pickup

Trash and rubbish pickup in Prichard and Mobile will be impacted by the Thanksgiving holiday.

Garbage collection for Prichard households whose regular collection day is Thursday will happen one day earlier, on Wednesday, November 23. 

Officials in Prichard have assured residents that their garbage will be collected on its regular collection day of Friday, November 25.

Due to the holiday, Thursday’s garbage collection in Mobile will be skipped. Saturday, November 26, has been set aside as the make-up date. 

According to the City of Mobile’s website, garbage and recycling will be collected as usual on Thanksgiving Day, but yard debris will not. Just letting you know!

The First Africatown Historic Lantern Walk 

the first africatown historic lantern walk

A little rain didn’t stop some folks from honoring the legacy of Africatown. 

Visitors from all across the state flocked to the Africatown Historical Lantern Walk to honor the community’s past and gain insight into its present.

This isn’t your average stroll. This is a walk that is drenched in meaning. 

Although this might be the first official Africatown Historic Lantern Walk, the concept is not novel. 

This is a recreation of a community tradition from the past called the “Lantern Walk,” and it will be held annually. 

When put into action, it involves bringing previously hidden information to the surface. 

The entire town and its schoolchildren took part in the event, which consisted of a procession to each local church, during which participants lit and re-lit lanterns. They did this to respect their ancestors.

Africatown’s legacy in the Port City and beyond is expanding.

Those traditions should be revived so that future generations can learn from their forebears and appreciate the depth of our cultural heritage. There is a pressing need to provide students with hands-on exposure to it.

Folks came out into the rain and cold to remember the enslaved people who founded Africatown more than 150 years ago on the last slave ship, the Clotilda.

The attendance was fantastic. Many different ethnic groups were represented. While the weather was less than ideal, morale was high.

STEM Fest Was A Blast! 

STEM fest was a blast

The Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall was full of excited young minds last Saturday. 

Kids were invited to attend a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fair.

Mobile STEM Fest was the first of its kind, and it allowed students of all ages to fully immerse themselves in the world of STEM. 

The event provided children with over 40 different hands-on STEM-related activities, allowing them to explore, experiment, and even create.

Together, STEM NOLA and the City of Mobile are providing students all throughout Mobile with opportunities to engage in STEM in a meaningful and positive way.

The goal of STEM NOLA is to foster the development of future creators, makers, and business owners.

We need to start our children on the path to a career in the 21st century as early as possible since, as technology advances, more and more of our jobs will be automated.

STEM Fest organizers have promised to bring the event back next month for those kids who were unable to attend this one.

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