This whole pandemic is affecting us all and mostly to those who are less fortunate. Thankfully, there are still people who think of others even at tough times like this. One of those people includes a high school sophomore making wooden American flags to be able to provide for homeless veterans and to those who are in need.
Lorenzo Liberti, a 15-year-old Florida teenager has the heart to make a difference by baking American flags out of pinewood to raise money not only for homeless veterans but also for children with special needs and Turning Points nonprofit, according to WFTS-TV.
The teenager said, “How could America abandon the servicemen and servicewomen who fought for our freedom? I thought to myself. I wanted to do something about it but wasn’t sure how a boy could make an impact.”
So, he shared that his dedication to building the three-foot wooden “Heroic Flags” sparked right after when he met a homeless veteran at a soup kitchen where he was serving with his church.
Alongside his father, Gaetano, they have brainstormed on how they could help. They immediately started carving, sanding, burning, staining, and polishing them until they shined. Their hard work resulted in a creation designed to change the fortunes of men and women who served under the same colors.
His father, Gaetano said about his son that, “It’s really about giving back; him understanding that it’s not about him, that he’s capable of doing things that are above and beyond himself.”
The Liberti family was originally from New Jersey and moved to Florida six years ago. They have spent hours in their garage working on flags since this project began about eight months ago. Lorenzo estimates each three-foot flag takes between 15-20 hours to complete. He also makes the flags in different sizes – one, five, and seven-foot lengths.
According to Fox News, Liberti has raised about thousands of dollars over the past eight months.
Lorenzo found the Bradenton-based Turning Points group, which he knew was providing services for homeless veterans and their families in Manatee County. The said organization asked the teen to play the National Anthem on his violin during the 2019 Christmas fundraising. The teenager donated two flags for auction, which fetched Turning Points $2,300 that night.
He expressed his gratitude through his flag website saying, “My summer DIY project became a much bigger endeavor than I could’ve ever imagined.” He didn’t just stop there, Lorenzo also dreamt of having a flag on display in one hospital per state around the nation. So, to fund this, he started a Go Fund Me page and plans to donate excess money to Turning Points. He hoped to raise $20,000 for supplies and donate $30,00 to Turning Points. By the end of July, he’d raised over $1,200 for his cause. In addition, he already has a seven-footer in Sarasota Memorial, where his mother works.
His father kept his support for his son as he said, “I’m very certain that he’ll be able to accomplish it, it’s just a matter of when.”
“It’s the veterans that keep me going,” said the teen. He also added that it’s what gets him up in the morning and one of the many things that help him sleep late at night.
He didn’t limit himself to homeless veterans. Lorenzo has also shown his support to Suncoast Charities for Children in Sarasota. He donated flags to their Thunder by the Bay event and that flag sale raised $1,000 for children with special needs.
For anyone interested in his flags, they are for sale on his website (https://www.heroicflags.com/). He makes four different styles, including ones honoring police and firefighters.