COMMUNITY WORK PUBLICITY
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This period in the life of Kellie Everts lasted from 1973 to 1977, where Kellie became a minister in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She lived at 356 South 1st St., between Hooper and Keap, apartment 33 on the sixth floor walk up. There was a lot of pressure on Kellie from her mentor, Rev. Verna Talbot, and her own inner needs, to do something to help others. Rev. Talbot wanted Kellie to promote her and her cause - a new age religion called "One World Light." Kellie wanted to do her duty by her mentor, as well as obeying the Divine Call. She started a sort of Church - community center right in her own two bedroom apartment. She canvassed the streets, handing out invitations. Only one old timer came. She then tried the teenagers who hung out on the streets. Eventually, she formed groups or clubs where they would come up to hear her preach and practice reading the bible. This got really involved and Kellie eventually had to get out for dear life, as she was totally burned out. The kids, ranging in age from seven to nineteen and even early twenties, would bang on the door from morning till 11 PM. For a while she quit her dancing job, sacrificing the decent money she earned as a stripper, to take a job for $9,000. a year as a Community Organizer. This was under the auspices of the Italian-American Civil Rights League, Chapter 23. They designated Kellie as the official Williamsburg Youth coordinator for services, and so Kellie was able to help them full time now. She has always loved helping others.
One thing Kellie learned about forming groups is that she had to keep the boys and girls separate. When she mixed them together they flirted and teased each other so much, no learning could go on. From then on in, she kept them in separate groups. Those years seemed to her, in some ways, not to bear much fruit, but looking back, she realized how much she learned by helping these children, many of whom were illiterate and without a father in the house. There were some harsh times and severe criticism, as where you have lots of kids, you have trouble. The landlord tried to throw her out, and some community group individuals were jealous of Kellie's success and publicity. When she set up a youth center in a Church, a project that had taken her months to put together, was dismantled in one day when a boy stole something from the office. Why didn't they have the office locked? It cost the entire program, and Kellie was blamed for "lack of supervision." As usual, life is full of stumbling blocks, which we must turn into stepping stones. Many interesting anecdotes will be printed elsewhere.
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© 2004 by Kellie Everts
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