TBON: Rachel's Kids - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Joe Birch

TBON: Rachel's Kids


A Midtown flower shop owner is growing a whole lot more than petunias. They are raising children inside Rachel's Flower Shop and taking back our neighborhoods in Binghamton.

Hundreds of Binghamton children have  blossomed at Rachel's side. 

"They learn a whole lot about how to fix, arrange flowers and how to act, act in school and how to treat people," volunteer Robert Flynn said.

Snow was flying earlier this month when we stopped by Rachel's Flowers on Poplar near Hollywood.

Outside, it was cold and not far from the realities of crime and the challenges of poverty. Inside, the latest crop of Rachel's Kids were playing on the computer or sticking stems into the base of a basic bouquet.

"It's fun. I like Ms. Rachel," Arnez Jackson of Rachel's Kids said.

"All of us think we're too busy to be involved but it's a problem and it's a situation all of us have to embrace to make a difference for the inner city and especially these kids. They're special kids," Rachel Coats of Rachel's Kids said.

So special, Rachel opens her Binghamton home on Monday and Tuesday nights for children to do homework and get tutored.
"We've probably got 25 kids in here that are studying right now in every room in the house. They enjoy being here and they want to be here. And with tutors that are coming from and have been provided by the city or the faith community, we've almost got 1 on 1 with our kids which is absolutely phenomenal," Coats said.

Volunteers come to Rachel's Binghamton home from Bartlett's New Hope Church, Mullins United Methodist, Holy Communion Episcopal, and Central Christian Church to name a few.

This service to youngsters has grown from the flower shop to a full fledged non-profit agency called Rachel's Kids, Inc. that has a goal of sending 100 Binghamton kids to camp this summer.
"Last summer were able to send 62 kids to camp. And it's all word of mouth and it's all private contributions. That's given us the opportunity to send kids to camp, let them see something else besides the walls of the area we live in," Coats said.

One flower and one child at a time, Rachel Coats is helping to Take Back Our Neighborhoods.

Every penny donated to Rachel's Kids, Inc. goes to help needy kids.

Click here to e-mail Joe Birch.


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