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Staff at Cape Fear Valley Health sit with the "Heroic Flags" art piece from Florida teenager Lorenzo Liberti. The "Heroic Flags" program is gifting a hand-carved flag to each state. Pictured are, from left, Environmental Services Technician Yavanna Davis, Dr. Purnachander Vangala, Registered Respiratory Care Therapist Helen Blevins, and Registered Nurse Rumbie Kachuwa.

Honoring our frontline workers has been more important than ever over the last year, and one Florida teenager is doing his part through gifts of special “Heroic Flags” art pieces.

Lorenzo Liberti, a 16-year-old from Florida has picked one hospital’s frontline workers in every state to receive one of his hand-carved flag woodwork pieces, and Liberti selected Cape Fear Valley Health System to receive the flag art piece for North Carolina. His “Heroic Flags” art program started after an encounter with a homeless veteran.

“The Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation was honored to facilitate the gift of this special flag and are grateful for the special recognition Lorenzo is giving frontline healthcare workers both at Cape Fear Valley Health, as well as across the country, by sharing his talents,” said Foundation Executive Director Sabrina Brooks. “Our team members appreciate this recognition of the heroic care they are selflessly providing to communities we serve during the pandemic.”

The materials for the flag production come from a GoFundMe account Liberti created. He plans to donate any excess money he makes from the program to a non-profit group helping homeless veterans in Florida.

You can purchase your own Heroic Flag through Lorenzo’s website here. You can also donate to the GoFundMe page here.

Liberti’s mission has been a noble one that started from the boredom of being stuck at home, mixed with a desire to help others. His website reads:

During the winter of 2019, I was with my church youth group serving meals at a local food pantry when I came across a homeless Veteran.  The encounter made an impression on me, ‘How could America abandon the service men and women who fought for our freedom?’, I thought to myself.  I wanted to do something about it but wasn’t sure how a 14 year-old boy could make an impact.  During the summer, my prayers were answered!  With no school to keep me busy, my dad suggested I find a DIY project to keep me occupied.  One thing led to another and with a few modifications I created a unique wooden American flag.  It looked so cool that my brother and all of my neighbors wanted one too!  

“With such a positive response, I began to wonder if I could use my talent to support the less fortunate people I had met at the soup kitchen earlier in the year.  I reached out to Turning Points (a non-profit organization supporting veterans in Bradenton), and instantly hit it off with them. They invited me to their Christmas Gala (see pic above), where I donated a flag for their silent auction and kicked off the evening by performing the National Anthem on violin. By the end of the evening, I sold two flags and helped Turning Points raise over $2,300 for their mission!  My summer DIY project became a much bigger endeavor than I could’ve ever imagined.”

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.