The power’s in the flowers and helping

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 19, 2002

Ruth McFarland, 84, listens as Flower Power Club members from left, Samir Thomas, Hannah White, Lauren Nosser, Skyler Hearn, Nikki Longmire and Emily Beene sing carols for her after delivering a box full of goodies to her home on Letitia Street. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[12/19/02]They’re the Flower Power Club. And they’ve been using their power to bring a hint of the holidays to Vicksburg residents.

The first official meeting of the Flower Power Club was on Sept. 12 when they decided on the name, their goals and projects.

“We just all thought of flower and then thought about what girls are and we came up with power,” said 8-year-old Emily Beene. Emily’s friend Nikki Longmire, 9, has been the mastermind behind the organization, which has grown to six third-grade girls at St. Francis Xavier Elementary. The other members are Skyler Hearn, Lauren Nosser, Samir Thomas and Hannah White.

“Nikki came to me and wanted to start a club,” said her mother, Nena Longmire. So she gave the reigns to her daughter, and the girls have organized, brainstormed and planned every detail of their club.

Their mission statement is to work together, be forgiving and give to others. Their rules are no fighting, be kind to others, be nice with your words, be polite, all things made at the Flower Power Club will be made for others and no whispering.

“And have fun,” Nikki said. “We follow the rules and there are no secrets.” The group recites the Pledge of Allegiance during every meeting, eats refreshments and then gets busy on upcoming projects. “It’s amazing how big their hearts are if you let them go,” Longmire said.

“We make people feel good,” Skylar said.

There are no officers, and they alternate which member gets to hold the flag during the pledge. The club meets at Nikki’s house at 3:30 every other Monday.

“I kind of let them pick what they do and who they want to do things for,” Longmire said. Although their focus is on senior citizens, they’re not picky about whom they help. “We really want to help everybody,” Hannah said.

Since their beginning, the group has been making ornaments for residents at Stonewood Apartments. They began meeting once a month, but soon realized they needed to meet more frequently if they were going to get the projects done.

They delivered the ornaments to Stonewood residents Monday afternoon, then went to the home of Ruth McFarland in Vicksburg. They took a box of food and snacks and sang carols. “It makes you feel good to know somebody’s thinking about you,” McFarland said.

“I like to be helpful,” Lauren said.

Longmire said that Nikki has never been interested in any statewide or national community service group, but she has always been a helper and caregiver.

“It’s that they put this together, and this is something they really want,” Longmire said. “They’ll learn a lot. They remind each other when they’re breaking rules. They take it seriously.”

“I like it,” Samir said. “We have a lot of fun.”

The girls are planning a car wash to raise money for their projects. As soon as Christmas break is over, they’ll begin putting together their Valentine’s Day project. The girls said that anyone can join, as long as they follow the rules. They will reconvene Jan. 13, 2003.