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Going GreenHouse Gives Back – Episode 1

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Going GreenHouse Gives Back – Episode 1

Welcome to the inaugural episode of “Going GreenHouse Gives Back.” In this series, we’re featuring deserving community members who are receiving a free house cleaning service from Going GreenHouse in return for a short interview. It’s a simple way of giving back, and it allows me to share their genuine and inspiring stories with you. 

I’m your host, April Prothero, and today, we’re stepping into the heartwarming journey of my longtime neighbors turned friends and even clients, John and Pat Perkins. I first crossed paths with this sociable couple during my high school days when my family and I moved in next door.  

John and Pat have been a part of the Going GreenHouse family for an impressive 13 years.  They joined us when Pat broke her leg and needed assistance. We are not only grateful for their loyalty throughout our growth, but they’ve also become cherished members of our team. In fact, it’s not every day that our team members request to clean a specific home, but Pat and John’s warm presence has made them favorites among our crew.

Join us as we unravel the layers of John and Pat’s life, their enduring commitment to each other, and the remarkable contributions they’ve made to their community. This is “Going GreenHouse Gives Back.”

April: Thank you both for joining me today. Let’s start from the beginning. How did the two of you first meet, and what initially drew you to each other?

Pat: Well, our families were connected through my mom and John’s first wife, who were best friends and worked together at a bank. John got married shortly after returning from serving 13 months Vietnam in Squadron HML267 and VM0-2.  His journey took an unexpected turn when, as a full-time journalism student, he dropped a class and got drafted due to no longer maintaining a full-time school load.

John: Yes, I remember those days! Once I returned from Vietnam, I would often visit Pat’s family.  She was in college then and would serve drinks to us at the house. After my divorce, I called one night to invite Pat’s brother to the sprint car races.  He couldn’t make it and since Pat answered the phone, I extended the offer to her. So, Pat got the lucky chance to go with me, even though she had to drive us!

April: Sounds like fate played a role in bringing you together. Can you share more about your early days as a couple?

Pat: Our first official date was on October 13, 1973, and by December of that year, we were already shopping for silverware and dishes at department stores.

John: It moved quickly from there. Pat got the ring on May 13, 1974, and we were married a couple of months later on July 13, 1974. That same year, Pat graduated from college.

April: That’s a wonderful journey. Tell me more about some fond memories you have from those early years.

John: Well, my family owned a candy factory in town, so every Friday night after work, we would drive up to Jerome to work at a candy store for the weekend. We stayed in a travel trailer, and those weekends hold some special memories for us.

April: Those were the good ol’ days! It’s clear that you both have a unique and colorful history together.  I understand your 50th wedding anniversary is coming up on July 13, 2024.  Huge congrats are in order! John, could you share what you admire most about Pat and how it has contributed to your relationship?

John: Absolutely. One of the things I admire most about Pat is her strong Catholic faith and the way she has always cared for our two daughters, Shannon & Jennie. Even now, as adults with families of their own, she continues to be there for them. One daughter calls her every single workday at 7:30 am and 3:30 pm without fail. Pat has this natural ability to care for and accept friends as family, as seen in her 20-year friendship with her best friend, Marcy, and her husband, Stan. Pat has this open heartedness that extends to everyone, and she invites anyone and everyone over for holidays, ensuring no one she knows ever feels left out or lonely. 

April: I believe it!  I have fond memories of sitting in your driveway with a bottle of wine (or two) handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Pat, what about you? What do you admire most about John and how has it contributed to your relationship?

Pat: I admire John for his strong Catholic faith and his dedication to both his family and his work with handicapped adults. He worked for Chandler Gilbert ARC & Developmental Systems until recent years. His commitment and connection to helping kids and special needs adults have always impressed me. John has also been incredibly supportive of my beliefs as a Women’s Lib advocate. The passing of Title IX during my first year of teaching meant a lot to both of us, and John’s support, even being the only husband at some of my coaching events, has been invaluable.

April: It’s evident that mutual support and shared values are key pillars of your relationship. Now, let’s talk about your shared activities and hobbies. What do you enjoy doing together?

John: Well, we’re foodies, so trying out new restaurants is a favorite pastime. Hula’s downtown on Central is one of our go-to spots. We also love watching sports, even if the teams aren’t performing well. Being from different areas—John from Phoenix (since age 10) and Pat from the Bay Area—adds a fun rivalry to our lives. We had season tickets to ASU football for years and we enjoy live music, especially blues. Tower of Power was our favorite band to see together, and our first concert was Helen Reddy, known for “I Am Woman.”

April: Those sound like fantastic shared interests and memories. Now, looking back on your life together, what has been the most memorable moment for both of you?

Pat: For me, it was when we had our babies and started a family. John was an only child, and building our own family was a deeply special experience.

John: Well, I would say having our racecar was a memorable moment, but Pat insists it was a money pit! (laughs)

April: It’s so special to hear about those significant moments, thank you for sharing. Lastly, I’m eager to know how our house cleaning service has positively impacted your life?

Pat: I’ll take this one! With everything on my plate, the cleaning service takes a significant weight off my shoulders. After John had a stroke, he couldn’t help out as he used to, and while I’ve always kept the house clean, the service ensures I don’t have to worry about the details. It’s especially helpful as we age and are on a fixed income. For us, the house cleaning service is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

April: Thank you both for sharing your beautiful story and insights with us! This series is about giving back but I feel like I’ve gained so much just by knowing the two of you!

As we bring this inaugural episode of “Going GreenHouse Gives Back” to a close, we want to express our deepest gratitude to Pat and John for sharing their incredible journey with us. Their enduring love, resilience, and commitment to their community are truly inspiring.

In addition to their contributions to our community, Pat, a retired teacher, sponsors a “Little Free Library” in Phoenix that collects donations for kids and adult books. If you’d like to contribute to this wonderful cause, you can find more information here https://littlefreelibrary.org/. Or if you are a Going GreenHouse client we’d be happy to pick up any book donations you have on your day of service and donate them on your behalf.  

As part of our commitment to giving back, Pat and John are the very first recipients of our monthly Give Back campaign, where we donate a cleaning service to a deserving family. If you’re interested in contributing to this initiative or nominating someone, please check out the following links:

Donation Form

Nomination Form

Once again, thank you, Pat and John, for being the pioneers in our “Going GreenHouse Gives Back” series. Your story is a testament to the power of love, community, and making a positive impact. We look forward to sharing more inspiring stories in the episodes to come.

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