NEW BRITAIN â€“ The Friends of the Friendship Service Center attended the Farmersâ€™ Market in Central Park Wednesday afternoon to begin its â€śHomelessness is for the Birdsâ€ť birdhouse sale.
â€śThanks to Adrian (Elliott) who set this up,â€ť said Bonnie McNair, chair of the Friends of the Friendship Service Center. â€śWe put in our application; we paid our fee and this is the first chance we had to sell the birdhouses, especially given the circumstances with covid. We thought it was going to be put on ice until God knows when.â€ť
On display at the booth were custom made birdhouses available for purchase for $15.
â€śWe have about 50 houses that have been put together so far,â€ť McNair said. â€śWeâ€™ve sold two so far and one is spoken for if it isnâ€™t sold by the end of the event. Theyâ€™re gorgeous and we have more weâ€™re hoping to sell.â€ť
McNair was hoping since it was such a lovely day people strolling by would come and take a look and hopefully leave with a birdhouse.
â€śI also forgot people that work around here from City Hall will come by,â€ť McNair said.
Jerrell Hargraves, human rights officer for the city of New Britain, said, â€śI think this is definitely a creative way of giving back to the community. They are helping beautify communities while giving birds a safe place to be and giving back to the Friendship Center. We all know the great work they do and any fundraiser that they do I will definitely support. I like the Black Lives Matter (birdhouse) and the Beehive (birdhouse). They came out really nice.â€ť
Some of the houses on display were made earlier this week and others a few weeks ago.
â€śCarol Yorker was responsible for getting them assembled with the help of the other friends,â€ť McNair said.
The painting portion was Elliottâ€™s responsibility. She also reached out to Anthony Figueroa, artist/tattoo artist at City Ink Tattoo, for his expertise.
â€śI heard about a successful run of fundraising with the friends selling birdhouses, so they asked for my help to kind of revamp and revisit that particular project in hopes that it would yield as much money fundraising as it did before,â€ť said Elliott, communication associate at the Friendship Center. â€śTalking with the president it was impossible for them to put as much effort into it because of their ages and the virus so we needed help. So we used the help of the residents at the Friendship Center to assist us in painting. It gives the residents an opportunity to see something they put their hands on.â€ť
The Friends of the Friendship Service Center are hoping for other opportunities to sell its birdhouses.
â€śThe idea was we might go to the Berlin Fair, but thatâ€™s been canceled. So many things have been canceled that we wanted to use for a venue, so weâ€™re happy to have this option,â€ť McNair said.
â€śIâ€™m here to support whatever I can in the way of making sure some of the things and the efforts that we were already involved with before the pandemic, before the covid-19, weâ€™re still able to continue to do at some capacity,â€ť Elliott said. â€śWe are willing to talk to people who want customized houses, for example, youâ€™re the Williams family and you want one to say Williams â€“ weâ€™ll make it for you.â€ť