A start-up Franciscan Earth Corps group in Amelia Island/Yulee, Florida in Nassau County recently completed their first project with great success. One issue in the community is that there isn't public transportation. Many of the poor in the community have trouble getting to work.
In one area of the city, there is a charter shuttle bus that makes several stops, one in front of a Family Social Services (FSS) located in a strip mall. This office is where troubled families go for counseling and supervised visits once a child has been removed from the home and placed in foster care. Many of these families are poor and without transportation, so the shuttle will take them from FSS to work.
While waiting for the shuttle, people were sitting on the curb in the hot Florida heat. Many of them already have self esteem issues and sitting on the curb at an unmarked bus stop wasn't helping. Since these are people who are trying to put their life back together, the Earth Corps group felt it was a great first project to build bus stop benches out of reclaimed wood.
If you look closely at the benches, which you can see photos of here, you can see where it was burned into the wood one of St. Francis’ great quotes, "Start by doing what is necessary. Then what is possible. And suddenly you're doing the impossible." They truly reflect in the spirit of St.Francis by being made with reclaimed wood and adding beautiful planter boxes help people connect with nature in what was a lifeless strip mall.
Congratulations to the Franciscan Earth Corps group in St. Augustine and keep up the good work!