Ernestine Allen is a 32-year resident of the city of Ontario who has seen many changes over the years on her mostly palm-tree-lined street, Plaza Serena. But one thing has stayed constant: everyone communicates and looks out for one another.
In May, Ernestine noticed the diadora pine tree located in her front yard beginning to lean as winds battered the Ontario area. She was concerned parts of the tree would fall and damage adjacent homes or neighbors walking by her home.
In the past, Ernestine would rely on family and neighbors to locate reasonably priced tree trimming services. But as the cost of tree trimming rose over the years, her fixed income could not keep up with the inflation. As a last resort, Ernestine reached out to the City of Ontario for help.
Because the tree was located on private property, the city of Ontario referred Ernestine to the D’Andre D. Lampkin Foundation for assistance.
The Lampkin Foundation’s mission is to create positive opportunities and change for individuals, communities, and environments. The organization engages in projects that foster the development of stronger, more resilient communities.
When the Lampkin Foundation reached out to several of Ernestine’s neighbors for input, they found an already vibrant community.
One neighbor, Donna, said “I’ve known Ernestine for about 3 years and she is always jumping in to help people despite her age. She even mows her own lawn.” She recalled an occasion when she and Ernestine worked together to provide fans to another neighbor whose air conditioning went out during the summer season. When another neighbor was ill, Ernestine volunteered to drive them to the nearest hospital.
The Lampkin Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which relies on the contributions of volunteers, public donations, and donor partners to make an impact. One of those donor partners, Empire Tree Services, volunteered to help.
Within days, the crew got to work, cutting back the tree so that it would be ready to handle the winds and alleviate Ernestine’s concern for her neighbor’s safety.
“It’s nice to know I still have neighbors who look out for each other and help each other when it’s really needed.” Ernestine said. When asked about what makes her community strong, Ernestine said, “Everybody knows everybody and everybody pitches in. One neighbor is a professor and he helps educate people in the community.” Donna said, “Everybody has a responsibility to be a good neighbor. Residents pay money and taxes to live here. So, they need to know they are invested.”
Empire Tree Services completed the tree trimming on Ernestine’s 82nd birthday. Family, friends, and neighbors joined in a barbecue to celebrate the momentous occasion.
For more information about the D’Andre D. Lampkin Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.lampkinfoundation.org or call (424) 346-3362