Flag house story goes viral, sheds light on foster care on the Suncoast

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 4:31 pm

BRADENTON, Fla. -- It's a story that has gained attention not only nationally, but worldwide: the Bradenton homeowners who painted the American flag across their home after being cited by city code enforcement. They’re now getting an outpouring of support from the community and shedding light on foster care on the Suncoast.

The Greer family is definitely making a statement, now adding the liberty bell as the centerpiece of their home. They say it's a message of freedom that they're sending to their adopted children and this community.

“Give me liberty or give me death.” Those famous words are now painted below the newly carved out Liberty Bell, front and center of the American flag painted across the Greer Family home -- just another proclamation of their freedom.

"I don't want to live in a country that's not going to have the liberty there, you know? I don't want my kids to grow up in a country like that," says Catherine Greer.

Since city code enforcement cited the non-deed restricted homeowners for various violations, the Greers still have many minor repairs to fix with only about a week left to complete them.

But after their story went viral just last week, people near and far have come to show their support and lend a helping hand.

"We just asked them if there's anything we can do to help out with it," says Rick Davis of Manatee Landscape & Irrigation.

"I decided to bring a flag and show my support and neighbors support,” says Norma Kinnett.

"What brings me here is that I think our country has gotten away from our heritage, and the red white and blue and what it stands for, and it's just great," says Polk County resident Robert Allen.

Their story has been published nationwide, with features on Fox News, NBC News, The Washington Post, and Huffington Post.

The foster care agency Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida says the Greer's have done something even more honorable: fostering nearly 20 children the past 4 years; and more importantly, keeping siblings together. That's why they've rallied the community together to help them make the minor repairs. "If anybody saw how busy these people are...if you've just got 1 child or 2 children of your own, you know. And when you've got 7 full-time, the fact that they can't keep everything in order does not surprise me," says Floyd Price.

The Greers officially adopted the 7 children living in their home back in 2012 and 2013. But they say life happens and it's not always easy to keep up with maintenance.

They feel the help is a godsend. “Life was very busy. Those first, when you first get those kids, it's a lot of getting them to doctors and therapies and stuff like that, and getting them what they need, what they weren't getting," says Greer.

Bradenton flag home, thanks sign

Now the Greers have about a week to get these repairs taken care of. On June 16th, city code enforcers will come to the home to check.

However, those volunteering and Guardian Angels say they need more time and are hoping for an extension.

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