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Planting seeds of hope for cancer patients

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  March 24, 2009 04:17 PM

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Erica Greenberg
Erica Greenberg, a sophomore at Sharon High School, has helped raise more than $600 for Hope in Bloom by selling photo gift cards. (Photo by Alyssa Greenberg)

By Paul E. Kandarian
Globe Correspondent

Erica Greenberg was a freshman at Sharon High School last year when she read about the Dedham-based nonprofit Hope In Bloom, which plants gardens for free at the homes of breast cancer patients. She said she saw the opportunity to "be able to contribute two of my greatest passions in life, helping others and taking photographs."

Once her proposal to launch a photography club at the high school was approved, she rounded up 13 classmates from all four grades and recruited Rachel Selby, a ninth-grade English teacher, for her project. They put more than 100 high-quality photos onto gift cards, which are now selling for $3.25 each through the Hope In Bloom website and at some local stores, shops, and events.

Thus far, the Sharon High shooters have raised more than $600 toward their $1,000 goal, all of which goes to Hope In Bloom "to be used to change the landscape for a breast cancer patient," said Roberta Dehman Hershon, Hope in Bloom's founder.

The students hope to sell framed photos at Starbucks at Cobbs Corner in Canton, and cards during school lunch hours during Mother's Day week. They would also like to get cards in local gift shops as well.

"Ever since I was old enough to understand that not everyone is as fortunate as myself, I've wanted to help other people," Greenberg said.

She doesn't plan to pursue photography as a profession, leaving that to older sister Alyssa, who will attend college this fall for photojournalism. Instead, she will likely go into nursing, speech pathology, nutrition, or physical therapy.

"Erica is a young lady with a big heart, she saw an opportunity to help people going through difficult times and acted," Hershon said. "She is a perfect example of how one person of any age can make a difference."

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