Happy Holidays from East Mt. Airy Neighbors!

Neighborhood activities & events slow down at the end of the year, as people spend time relaxing & celebrating December holidays with family & friends.We're (sort of) doing the same, but we'll be checking e-mails daily. The next EMAN Community/Board meeting will be on Monday, January 4th at 7:30 PM, in the Lovett Library 2nd floor meeting room. As always, the community is invited to join us. (And you're always welcome to join EMAN.......visit our website for membership info: http://www.eastmountairy.org) End-of-year donations are extremely welcome (& tax-deductible)! It's the generosity of people who care about the neighborhood that allows us to continue to work to "make a good community better", & to be here when you need us.  Click on "donate" at our website.

Become a Part of Mt. Airy 2025: As you know, the Mt. Airy 2025 Neighborhood Planning process has been moving along for several months. This process is resident-driven, & we need more residents to participate!           There is still a need for people to do the required surveys for this initiative. Stipends ($10/hour) are being offered to folks who can help out on January weekends. Go to http://bit.ly/2025survey to sign up & get more into.

 TreeCycling Returns! EMAN's popular Christmas Tree Recycling Day will be back in January ........ Sunday, 1/10th, from 1-4 PM, at Gabbie's Garden, on the parking lot on Chew Ave. just south of Mt. Airy Ave., (behind the Sedgwick Theater). Trees will be chipped into mulch, which will be given to local community gardens. Don't let that beautiful tree end up in a landfill or dump! *** All ornaments must be removed. *** PLEASE, no early dumping of trees. *** A minimum donation of $5 per tree is requested, to help us defray the cost of the chipper & crew.           If you'd like to come help us unload trees from car roofs, we'd love to see you!

 Our thanks.............. As the year ends, we'd like to thank the many partners with whom we've worked this year! Mt. Airy USA, WMAN, &  the Mt. Airy BID come to mind immediately. And we're looking at ways to do even more together in 2016, because we're all working for the community we love. The Boards of Directors of all of our neighborhood nonprofits are volunteers, & we thank them for the hundreds of hours they give. Our generous & supportive business community has been there for us every time we've asked for help. They feel a responsibility to "give back", & we hope you'll support them the way they support the work of local community organizations in Mt. Airy! The principals & teachers at our local schools work tirelessly to give our kids everything they deserve. They do it with extremely limited resources, often using their own money to meet classroom needs. And they do it with a smile. The Mt. Airy Schools Coalition, (MAUSA, EMAN, WMAN), is pleased to be able to help a little! Our neighborhood First Responders are amazing. We thank them for being ready to protect us, to help us when we've been victims of crimes, to run into burning buildings. We thank them for also doing things like giving Christmas parties for kids who wouldn't otherwise have gifts. We are fortunate that our Police & Firefighters have become a real part of our community in so many ways. We thank the many small nonprofit groups in the neighborhood, too many to name, who work every day to try to meet the needs of the sick, the hungry, the homeless, the unemployed, the elderly, victims of crime, children who need a better start in life, & people who have suffered tragedies. And thanks, too, to the wonderful people & organizations that bring us art, & theater, & music, contributing light to our lives. Mt. Airy's houses of worship offer more than spiritual & religious support. They run food pantries, host afterschool programs, sponsor coat drives. Most important, they work together --- Christians, Jews, Muslims & the unaffiliated --- to fight hatred, prejudice, lies & violence --- because ugliness directed at any one faith group is ugly for all faith groups.

     We hope our Jewish friends enjoyed Hanukkah. The latkes have been eaten & the menorahs put away, but we know the hopeful glow of the candles will remain throughout the year.         We wish a Merry Christmas to our Christian friends. While the religious reason to celebrate is part of one faith tradition, the idea of peace & good will is something that transcends boundaries.         May Kwanzaa bring renewed commitment to important principles for those who celebrate.

And a very happy, healthy, productive & peaceful New Year to all!