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Dekker: A way to help those who defend our freedom

KaylDwyer (left)  Brett Brenner EvangelinKeeling bring donations Heather's Haus Florist for veterans from Tinley Park. | Supplied photo

Kayla Dwyer (left), Brett Brenner and Evangelina Keeling bring in donations to Heather's Haus Florist for veterans from Tinley Park. | Supplied photo

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Updated: July 24, 2013 6:10AM



I absolutely love this time of year. The days are long, the temperature is comfortable and there are so many ways to enjoy your time. Between weddings, graduations, picnics and parties, there seems to be no shortage of celebrations.

Soon we will be celebrating our freedoms and all things American on the Fourth of July. While doing a little research on this most American of holidays, I saw a post on the Heather’s Haus Florist website about a soldier from Tinley Park who was in need of supplies.

It seems that we have a 2003 Tinley Park High School graduate serving in Afghanistan. His name is Shaun Wicks, and he and his fellow soldiers are in need of some basic supplies.

I have to admit that without having family serving in the military, those soldiers’ needs have not been in the forefront of my thoughts.

It touched me to think about Shaun and those like him, far away from family and friends in a dangerous country defending my freedom, and all he’s asking for is some deodorant, snacks or toothpaste. Simple comforts that we all take for granted. I knew I needed to show my gratitude.

The village of Tinley Park has always been actively involved in supporting our military and veterans and so it seems has Heather’s Haus Florist. I visited the flower shop on Oak Park Avenue to get a supply list and find out more about what it was doing.

Heather’s Haus opened during the trying times of the Persian Gulf War and became a strong supporter of our troops from the get-go, supplying yellow ribbons to anyone who asked for them. The florist has worked with soldiers overseas to get flowers to their loved ones and has built a special rapport with several of them via email.

Heather’s Haus Florist continually works at supporting our troops and has become a drop-off center for items for our Tinley Park soldiers. The florist works with the village to get the items shipped.

Heather’s Haus encourages anyone who has a family member serving overseas to notify the village so packages can be sent to them and their service acknowledged.

The soldiers’ requests are simple — baby wipes, deodorant, gum, toothbrushes, snacks, Q-tips and sun screen are among their preferred items. You can pick up the complete list of supplies at the flower shop.

Everyone at Heather’s Haus Florist extends their gratitude to all who are donating items, but most of all they want to say “thank you” to all of those serving our country.

Heather’s Haus Florist is at 16633 S. Oak Park Ave. For more information, visit its website at www.heathershausflorist.com or call (708) 532-1890.

I hope that on this Fourth of July you can celebrate your freedom with those you love. Don’t forget that the Tinley Park Park District throws one of the largest and best Fourth of July celebrations around.

A full day of family fun starts with a 5K walk/run at 8 a.m., and there will be lots of games, music, crafts, food and more throughout the day. Enjoy free watermelon and balloons and get ready to party all night as the Hat Guys perform on the main stage from 4:15 to 9:15 p.m.

The evening will culminate with a fireworks show you won’t want to miss. This free event is held at McCarthy Park, at 168th Street and 80th Avenue. Visit www.tinleyparkdistrict.org for the full schedule of events.



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