Community car wash teaches kids entrepreneurship

MORGAN ZALOT / DAILY NEWS STAFF Em-sheree Patterson (center) with daughter Euree, 5, and teens during a charity car wash yesterday for her organization, WANPAE. Patterson said the group will hold a school-supplies drive Aug. 30.
MORGAN ZALOT / DAILY NEWS STAFF Em-sheree Patterson (center) with daughter Euree, 5, and teens during a charity car wash yesterday for her organization, WANPAE. Patterson said the group will hold a school-supplies drive Aug. 30.
Posted: August 12, 2014

THE HOT August sun beat heavily on 19th Street and Hunting Park Avenue yesterday. But that didn't stop Jameer Greer, 10, and Jhafi Sexton, 15, from standing at the corner, directing drivers to a car wash on the block.

Greer and Sexton spent the day working the event at Time Out Car Wash, in Nicetown, as part of a fundraiser for WANPAE - Worry About Nothing Purpose is Alive in Everyone - a Philly organization that teaches preteens and teenagers entrepreneurship and how to pursue their passions.

Em-sheree Patterson, 27, the founder of WANPAE, teamed up with Time Out owner Lionel Dunbar, 42, for the fundraiser. Dunbar, who's owned the car wash for 13 years, is no stranger to charity days at his business: Last month, the Oak Lane Wildcats football team participated in a fundraiser at Time Out for its program.

Dunbar said Patterson had been a customer of the car wash for years, and when he heard about her organization and a fire that she and her daughter, Euree, 5, had suffered at their Tioga rowhouse in May, he wanted to help.

"I'm all about helping the kids and helping the community out," Dunbar said yesterday, as hip-hop blasted from speakers and a steady stream of SUVs and cars pulled away shining clean after being hand-washed by Dunbar and his team.

For fundraising car washes, Dunbar said, he usually donates $300 to $500 of the proceeds to the participating charity and discounts the price of the car wash to a flat $10 rate per vehicle. On non-fundraising days, he said, SUVs cost $20 and cars are $15.

"[WANPAE] helps me stay on track in school, and after school I don't have to be in the streets. I can come to the program," said Patterson's niece Lamy'i Miller, 16, a rising sophomore at Gratz High who helped out at the car wash. "Being a part of WANPAE helps you motivate yourself in your career."

Miller said she hopes to own a day-care center someday.

Patterson said WANPAE's next endeavor will be a school-supplies drive beginning at noon Aug. 30 on Warnock Street between Huntingdon Street and Lehigh Avenue.

She added that if yesterday's charity car wash's profits were enough, she hoped to use them to plan a trip to a local amusement park for some of her organization's participants.

"Something really nice for kids who have never been anywhere," she said with a smile.

"I feel really good about this."


For more information, email WANPAEorg@yahoo.com.


On Twitter: @morganzalot

Blog: PhillyConfidential.com

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