'Tis the season - you may have noticed increased activity along the Avenue (& pretty much everywhere!) as people prepare for the holidays. This year, Hanukkah begins on Christmas Eve, so many of us will be celebrating at the same time.Unfortunately, there are people who see the holidays as an opportunity to benefit from your generosity; Town Watch & the PPD offer some hints to avoid becoming a criminal's personal Santa Claus.
When out shopping:
Be aware of your surroundings.
Try to park in well-lit spots.
Carry only the credit & debit cards you expect to use. Keep a list of those cards, & contact info for the issuing bank, in a safe place at home, in case you need to report a lost or stolen card.
Be aware of how you carry your purse or wallet.
There has been a seasonal uptick in burglaries & related residential crimes in the neighborhood, mostly during late morning & early afternoon hours. Windows that don't face the street have been a means of illegal entry.
Keep your doors & windows locked.
If you're expecting packages to be delivered & won't be at home to receive them, perhaps a neighbor could keep an eye out for them.
Don't open your door to delivery people without checking their I.D.; phony "delivery" drivers have been forcing their way into homes in some neighborhoods. Most packages don't require a signature, so ask the delivery person to leave the box at your door, if that feels safer.
Because many of us feel particularly generous at this time of year, some thieves use fake charities to solicit donations door-to-door. Again, check for I.D.
We're Christmas Tree-Cycling Again! Your Christmas tree brings happiness into your home --- don't let it end up in a trash dump or landfill! Bring your tree to our Tree-Cycling event, where it will be chipped into mulch to be given to community gardens. The City of Philadelphia does not recycle trees left at the curb. This event is especially important this year. We suspect that sustainability & environmental issues won't be priorities for the incoming administration. While this may seem a small thing to do, at least it's something. And oceans are made up of many small drops.... Sunday, January 8th, from 1:00 - 4:00 PM Gabbie's Garden (on the 7100 block of Chew Ave., on the parking lot behind the Sedgwick Theater, just south of Mt. Airy Ave.)
A minimum donation of $5 is requested, to help defray the cost of providing this service. All ornaments & decorations must be removed, as they clog up the chippers. NO early drop-offs, please! There will be free hot chocolate & cookies, & treats for dogs who accompany their people to the event. If you find yourself in the mood to be out in the "brisk" air, helping unload trees from cars & dragging them over to the chipper, we'll be delighted to see you!
A Few End-of-the-Year Thank-you's & Acknowledgements.....
First, thank you to the businesses & organizations that have been so supportive of EMAN's activities & initiatives this year:
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Electrical Wizardry, Inc.
Elfant Wissahickon REALTORS / Larry DiFranco Team
Little Jimmie's Bakery Cafe
Loretta Witt, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach REALTORS
Brian Madalion, State Farm Insurance
Ross & McCrea, LLP
La Prima Catering
Trolley Car Diner
Weavers Way Co-op
Valley Green Bank / Univest Bank & Trust Co.
Next, thank you to our partner organizations, with whom we work every day. These organizations understand both the power of community & the many benefits of joining together to work for common goals:
Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA)
West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN)
Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID)
We are happy to have the opportunity to work with many other neighborhood organizations, nonprofits & businesses. Our joint activities may be less regular than those mentioned above, but these groups are great partners who help us offer unique activities in East Mt. Airy. Our thanks to Awbury Arboretum, Cliveden of the National Trust, Mt. Airy Animal Hospital, Queenie's Pets & the Mt. Airy Art Garage.
And we deeply appreciate how warmly we have been welcomed into our neighborhood public elementary schools!
The officers of the 14th PPD, under the leadership of Capt. Sekou Kinebrew, have been both proactive & responsive dealing with everything from major crimes to "small" ones. Their outreach into the community has been a very positive force.
The firefighters of Engine 9, Ladder 21, are always ready to spring into action & risk their lives to help residents & businesses in emergencies. (And they do sweet things, like enlist EMAN's help trying to reunite a lost dog with her owner!)
Last --- but far from least --- we thank the residents & businesses who have become paying members of EMAN. We can't do the work we do without support. You can become a member at our website (http://www.eastmountairy.org/ -- click on "Join"), or send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) & we'll mail you a form, if you prefer.
We hope you'll consider not only joining, but also becoming more active in the neighborhood. There are many services & activities we'd like to bring to the community, but not enough volunteers.
We hold regular Community/Board meetings on the first Monday evening of the month, at the Immigrant Innovation Hub, 6700 Germantown Ave., (which is across the Avenue from the SEPTA depot, at Westview St.). The Board meets privately in Executive Session at 7:00, & the community is welcome to join us at 7:30. Come meet some of the folks who volunteer their time, talents & energy to make East Mt. Airy a better place to live & work.
Please note that our January meeting will be postponed a week, to the 9th, because of the New Year holiday.
Whichever December holiday(s) you celebrate, we wish you a happy, safe, enjoyable rest-of-the-year. And we hope that 2017 will be a happy, healthy, productive, creative, prosperous year for you & your families, filled with love & joy!