Home Depot – Flags for first responders | News
Theodore Kiselev, the founder of a small local nonprofit called Help When Needed, recently decided to make and distribute American flags to give to first responders to thank them for their service this year.
Just after Thanksgiving, Kiselev and a group of friends talked about how they could show their support to firefighters and emergency response workers in the community.
“We just wanted to say thanks for what they do, putting our lives in front of their own every day,” Kiselev said.
After receiving donations of wood from Port Charlotte Home Depot, and paint from President of Keep Charlotte Beautiful, Rhonda Harvey, the work began.
Kiselev also used some of his personal money to purchase supplies.
The group worked around the clock to get the 66 flags ready by Christmas.
“We cut the plywood into 8-by-15-inch boards and then stained and painted on the stars and stripes,” Kiselev said.
On Christmas Eve, the Charlotte High School senior dressed in all red, donning a Santa cap, gathered with his friends to deliver the flags. They delivered to several fire stations in Port Charlotte on Christmas Eve, and several stations in Punta Gorda on Christmas morning.
While delivering the wrapped gifts to local first responders, staff members on shift replied by saying “these are awesome … thank you … very impressive … these are really cool,” Kiselev said.
He wasn’t sure the group would be finished with the flags by Christmas, but they didn’t give up.
“This was by far our biggest project yet,” Kiselev said. “People who helped were: Julie Fisher, Andrew and Kylie Capara, Nick Angeles, Justis Sisk and Ben Goldman.”
The club often hosts cleanup events in the community. They recently planted small trees in Port Charlotte.
Kiselev is always looking for more students in the area who would like to volunteer.