On the northeast section of Detroit, there’s a force to be reckoned with and her name is Elois Moore, a woman who volunteers in multiple ways to improve the community where she lives.
If there’s a meeting downtown or uptown focused on her community, she’s bound to be there, leading initiatives and speaking up on behalf of the Farwell Community Association. It’s made up of three block clubs: The Binder Street Block Club, the Wexford Street Block Club and the Yonker/Norwood Block Club. She and her husband, John Moore, have lived in the community since 1980.
“There is an Ah-ha feeling that I get from volunteering,” said Moore. “My advice to those who might want to volunteer is to know the ‘Ah Ha’ moment is
real. I encourage people to take the step to be involved because it’s a good feeling.”
The signature project of the association is the Farwell Community Rain Garden, started in 2012 with support from the Sierra Club. It is located at Fenelon and Eight Mile (4444 E. East Eight Mile).
“We grow beans, rutabaga, collard greens, three types of kale, sweet corn, peppers, beets, tomatoes, lettuce, swish chard, potatoes, squash and peanuts,” she said.
“The garden is a labor of love for our community,” said Moore, a mother of three adult children and five grandchildren. “I volunteer through the planting and growing season. During harvesting in October we celebrate our harvest by inviting community to come in and pick crops.”
The group secured financial assistance with the help of State Rep. Wendell Byrd, she said. That funding enabled the association to purchase a riding mower to mow vacant lots and board up abandoned homes. “Funding has also been given to our block club to maintain the operations of the garden where we are able to supply fresh, chemically free fruit and vegetables,” said Moore, a retired union worker.
Another grant, from a group called Motown Mission, brings volunteers from all over the country to assist in maintaining the garden in the summer.
In addition to working in the garden, Moore serves as president of Farwell Community Radio and Walking Patrol and is a regular with the Farwell Swaggers, a seniors working group.
Her service doesn’t stop in the neighborhood. Other groups she serves with include the Michigan Community Resources , Community Development Advocates For Detroit, District 3 Senior Task Force, Sierra Club and Keep Growing Detroit.
Binder Street Block Club member and Farwell Community Gardener Cle Williams described Moore as tenacious and driven when it comes to doing things to improve the neighborhood.
“She is the force behind action being taken in our community. She is a voice in our community to the powers downtown”, he said. “I feel extremely privileged to work with Mrs. Moore.”
Moore said she’d like to see others to get involved. “People know me by my compassion,” she said. “They know about the “Ah Ha” moments, and I’m always talking about the garden. It’s more to life than just sitting behind a desk and not talking to anybody.”