Long Branch community responds to tragedy
Posted by sebastianbrown on February 26, 2010
Tuesday night at 9pm an 11 year old girl–and resident of the Quebec Terrace Apartment community–was accosted by two older men who took her back to their apartment, raped her and threw her back into the street. Amazingly, she had the will power to tell the police of the exact location of the men, who were subsequently arrested in their apartment. The Nob Hill group and I were first made aware of this by Gretchen Hillburger at our Wednesday night mutual support gathering. Last night, some of the group members and I attended a spur of the moment vigil put on by CASA de Maryland held at the exact spot the young girl was snatched by the two men, just 50 feet outside the entrances of both the Nob Hill and Park Montgomery Apartment complexes. With over 40 residents bearing the freezing cold to show solidarity with the young girl and her family against violence in their community, it was a beautiful display of neighbors really coming together to support each other in a time of need. Be sure to keep the young girl, her family and all neighbors in the surrounding apartment communities in your thoughts and meditations.
On a lighter note, just an hour before the vigil I was made aware of encouraging news that helped remind me of the immense potential mutual support has to strengthen our communities maybe even to the point of preventing similarly tragic events from happening in the future. When I called Nob Hill group member Luis to invite him to the vigil he told me that he had just had lunch with Andrea, who he met the night before at our Wednesday night meeting. After finding out that their daughters were classmates, he had invited her over to his apartment where his wife offered to watch after Andrea’s kids (at no cost) the three days a week she’s working. Even though they took this step of mutual support outside of our IMPACT space, they never would have made the connection if it weren’t for the class that their fellow neighbors set up in the their very own community. Even though it’s often difficult to see, this is just one of innumerable stories of neighbors helping neighbors coming out daily of the Neighbors Campaign’s work in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and Long Branch.