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COMMUNITY HERO:
ED GRANT
by Jessie from New Haven


Ed Grant is the true epitome of a hero. Throughout his life he accomplished a lot to be proud of, all of which he did with the intention of helping all types of people. This was his passion, although it was not easy. He faced many issues as a result of his actions, because in everything he did, he had to endure a great deal of discrimination. People all around, and even police authorities who did not agree with his acts, were very strict about many things Ed tried to do to better peoples' lives; but through it all he didn't let his passion die.

Years ago, Ed Grant was cleaning up trash around a neighborhood with others, when he realized a group of alcoholics who often lingered around the area had started to help him. They picked up old and dirty wine and liquor bottles and helped Ed pack them into a truck. When Ed questioned them, they told him, "We want a home." Ed didn't just listen to these words; he actually did something about it. From then on, Ed met with these alcoholics regularly and he became their counselor.

It seems wonderful and helpful, but these counseling sessions led to trouble with the police when they found out what Ed was doing. Although they recognized he was helping these alcoholics, the police encouraged him to stop because he had no credentials, permission, or doctors. But Ed refused to stop. When the police threatened to arrest all of the alcoholics, Ed told them, "Then you're going to have to arrest me too." They left him with a warning, but Ed didn't stop there. He went to Yale New Haven Hospital and he made it clear that he needed doctors. Luckily, four doctors volunteered to help these alcoholics, which this group really needed.

Along with the accomplishment of counseling alcoholics, Ed has done many other things. He is an activist in the Dixwell Community, and was in charge of the Freddy Fixer Clean-Up program. Freddy Fixer was in business seven years when Ed took over. Ed was also a Black Panther, which was an African American political party that was meant to end white dominance. While a Black Panther, Ed lay down on College and Elm Street in order to protest, and he was arrested. He was arrested three other times for civil disobedience, although I personally believe it was worth it if he made a change in society, despite the negative feedback he received from many people. He also served in World War II, and he marched with Martin Luther King.

Today, Ed Grant is 84 years old, but his passion to help others still has not died. He spoke of his determination to help people get on the right track in life, and how if someone is truly passionate about what they want to do, he will try with everything he has to help them get there. He has helped many adolescents get into college, and many more figure out what it is they truly want to do. Just recently, he ran into someone whom he had not seen in thirty years. It turned out this person had not had a drop of alcohol in those thirty years, and it was all due to Ed's devotion to helping these alcoholics. It seems voluntarily helping people has become Ed's true job. Even if there's no monetary pay included in this job, he's still paid with gratitude.



Written by Jessie from New Haven
Last changed on: 7/1/2007

Ed Grant His legacy continues during the Freddy Fixer Parade

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