Tagged ‘South Carolina‘

The Baldauf Sisters

The Thank You Project



Dear Beth and Mary Pat,

Thank you both for all you do to make our fun, funky little community such a warm and inviting neighborhood, too.

We are blessed to have two enthusiastic people who do so much to keep residents up to date and in the know. One (or oftentimes of both of you) can be relied upon to post pictures, send lemonade stand and garage sale coordinates, volunteer for anything needed, tweet upcoming events, search for wayward pets, cheer on the troops at Fort Jackson, attend community meetings and events, or let us know when trash or recycling pick-up is out of whack.

Your willing service and enthusiasm are gifts to this community and to all of your neighbors, too. It’s clear you both love Forest Acres and all the work you do on behalf of it inspires other to care about it even more.

There are very few people I can think of who contribute so much to their community so willingly and so well. Forest Acres, in fact, shines brighter because of the both of you.

I am proud and grateful to have you as neighbors and friends.


Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.


Forest Acres Public Works

The Thank You Project


Dear Forest Acres Public Works,

Last week, one of your trash collection employees caught my eye. Not once, but twice. Here’s why.

I happened to glance out of the window as the truck came toward our section of Oakwood Drive. I noticed a worker look toward our neighbor’s house. Their trash can was not on the street. It was close to their house since it’s not easy for them to get it to the curb. Rather than skip the stop, which could have easily been done, he walked up to the house, retrieved the can and wheeled it to the truck.

Once it was empty, he didn’t leave the can lying on it’s side or even on the street. He wheeled it all the way back up the driveway, close to the house. In fact, he placed it right where it came from. Whether he knew it was a difficult task for our neighbors or not didn’t matter. I found the gesture incredibly thoughtful.

As I sat there wondering who he was and if he was our regular trash guy, he made his way back toward the truck. He paused in the middle of the street as the truck lumbered ahead. He’d spied a few pieces of trash that has escaped from the truck’s jaws. Rather then step over it or pretend he didn’t see it he picked it all up and moved on down the street.

It would have been a cinch for him to take the easy way out twice that morning but he didn’t.

I wish my children had been close-by so I could have shown them a great example of someone who went above and beyond what was expected even when no one was looking.

Thank you — to him and to each and every one of you — for the hard work you do every day. It does not go unnoticed.




Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live.

Keith’s K & A Automotive

The Thank You Project



Dear Keith’s K & A Automotive,

Each time I make the turn from Bethel Church Road on to Covenant Road, I get a treat. Out in the never-ending sea of street, pavement and parking lots, you’ve carefully placed thriving little islands of blooming plants, trailing roses and happy greenery.

I’ve long been grateful for the unexpected joy that blooms at your business. I applauded with the Forest Acres Appearance Commission when they honored your green thumbs a few years ago. It would be so easy for a busy small business owner to ignore those small spaces or let them go wild, but you and your staff never do.

Year after year, you nurture, plant and mulch dedicating part of your busy grounds to natural beauty. What’s so compelling is that there’s no ordinance or law requiring you to make your corner pretty. But that’s just what you do, season after season.

Each year you prove you’re more than just a part of this community. It’s part of your business plan to make your neighborhood a better place to work, live and learn.

We see your commitment on the way to Harmony School every day and it’s inspiring. Thank you!



Julie Turner


The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 


Some weeks there’s no question who will get the Thank You Project letter. Other weeks I swim around a short list until something out of the blue hijacks the letter and steals it for itself. That’s what happened this weekend. While I’ve been to the All Local Farmers’ Market many times, I gained a new appreciation for it on Saturday. The market is much more than a place to buy food. It’s a place that could and should change how you think about food and eating. Someday I will stay long enough to enjoy one of Kristian’s yummy Rosso breakfasts and toast Emile, hopefully over some of his amazing Caw Caw Creek Farm bacon.

Dear Emile,

My name is Julie Turner and I am a writer on a yearlong quest called The Thank You Project. Once a week for the next year, I am thanking someone who quietly makes my life or my community better.

When I arrived at the All Local Farmers’ Market this past weekend, I immediately knew you would get this week’s letter.

Saturday morning was cold and dreary. As my children and I rounded the corner of 701 Whaley, the sheer beauty of the market stopped me in my tracks. I could practically feel the warmth of the soft cheerful globes of light all the way out on Whaley Street. Finally making my way inside, I passed by tables of locals chattering and lingering over breakfast and was jealous until I got inside. My basket was quickly full with several types of homemade biscuits, a bag of curly City Roots spinach, fresh dill, some pre-made BLT dip and a hearty enchilada casserole that saved dinner at my house last night.

As I drove back home that morning, I found myself admiring my bounty. It was all beautiful, fresh food I would be thrilled to serve to my family and friends. I wish I could say that about more of my food and meals.

I am so grateful to have this type of market in Columbia. It’s a place to share, learn and gather as well as buy fantastic local food and goods. Thank you for the years of effort you and others put forth to make such a place possible.

Your inspiration and dedication changed the Columbia landscape in a very tangible and meaningful way for so many people. You made Columbia a better place.

Thank you for such an incredible gift to our city.


Julie Turner


The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith blog project recognizing people who need to be thanked more often for their many contributions to our lives and communities.