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Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. Dedicates Community Garden to Ms. Caren Turner during NeighborWorks Week

Wilmington, DE, June 21, 2024 – On June 6th, as part of the 45th NeighborWorks Week celebration, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. (ICHDE) proudly dedicated Valley Community Garden in West Center City to Ms. Caren Turner. The event, which honored Ms. Turner's relentless dedication and significant contributions to the community, drew more than 75 supporters and community members.


The garden dedication ceremony was held during the annual #NWweek NeighborWorks Week, a week of service that highlights the collaborative efforts of community organizations like ICHDE, residents, and other stakeholders to strengthen communities. This year, the week was marked by proclamations and tributes from local leaders, highlighting the importance of community engagement and the impact of Ms. Turner.


Mayor Mike Purzycki of Wilmington issued a proclamation declaring June 1-8 as NeighborWorks Week and recognizing the invaluable contributions of Ms. Turner to the community. “This garden is a beautiful tribute to Caren Turner, a respected community advocate who has helped to improve the lives of her West Center City neighbors as well as those in the extended community for many years,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “The City of Wilmington owes Caren Turner its gratitude and appreciation.”


“This garden is a beautiful tribute to Caren Turner, a respected community advocate who has helped to improve the lives of her West Center City neighbors as well as those in the extended community for many years. The City of Wilmington owes Caren Turner its gratitude and appreciation.”--Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzyck

Additionally, New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer issued a proclamation declaring June 4th, 2024, as Caren Turner Day in New Castle County. He commended her tireless work on behalf of the county's most vulnerable citizens.


Ms. Caren Turner's contributions to the community span over several decades, marked by her advocacy for civil rights, residents' rights, and justice for those in need. Her work has significantly advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion, and she has been a steadfast supporter of people with disabilities and individuals aging in place. Ms. Turner's efforts have utilized various mediums, including art, community meetings, murals, and park gatherings, to address community needs and ensure safe, inclusive environments.


The dedication event featured a series of heartfelt speeches with the Tyehimbah African Drummers providing a rhythmic backdrop to the event. Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker also issued a tribute, acknowledging Ms. Turner's dedication and service. "Ms. Caren Turner is a Community Gem with a willingness to help everyone with whom she comes in contact. She has a heart for Our West Center City Neighborhood, her church, New Pentecostal United Holy Church and her commitment to the betterment of the City of Wilmington is admirable. I Thank God [for] Ms. Caren Turner," said Representative Dorsey Walker. Speakers included Ms. Turner's pastor, Al Holden of the New Pentecostal United Holy Church of America, ICHDE board member K. Emmanuel Magruder, Councilman Jae Street, and Ms. Turner’s son, Va’Shun Turner, who accepted the tribute and proclamations on behalf of his mother. The event was opened by Darlene Sample, ICHDE's Executive Director, and Eileen Anderson, Senior Director, Northeast Region at NeighborWorks America attended the event on behalf of NeighborWorks America.






“If Ms. Caren says so, it is so,” said K. Emmanuel Magruder, who acknowledged Ms. Turner’s influence and relentless advocacy for her beloved West Center City community. One of Ms. Turner’s often used quotes, now memorialized on the garden dedication plaque: "We are small but mighty," reflects her unwavering belief in the power of each resident and the community. A voice for equity, Ms. Turner empowers individuals to be advocates for their neighborhood and themselves, emphasizing that their collective strength will make them unstoppable.

“If Ms. Caren says so, it is so,” said K. Emmanuel Magruder

The garden dedication this week received strong support from the city, county, and state— a testament to the strength and influence of one person.


Click here to watch the full video of the dedication ceremony.


About Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. has served the Delaware community since 1968, focusing on empowering low- and moderate-income families through homeownership opportunities and homeownership services. As the first chartered NeighborWorks® America organization in Delaware, ICHDE continues to be at the forefront of community revitalization efforts, ensuring that families and communities thrive through sustainable housing solutions.


For more information, please contact:


Catherine Davis

Resource Development and Marketing Manager

Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc.

Phone: (302) 652-3991 ext. 118

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