About this time last year, a young man named Devin, age 12, came with his father to our workshop for first-time grant applicants. It’s pretty unusual to have an adolescent at any of our workshops, but Devin is an unusually driven young man. By the time he came to us, he’d already made a presentation to the vestry of his home parish, St. John’s in Pleasantville, and had begun to draw up plans for a new community garden he wanted to start on the church’s property. With the help of a little “seed money” from Episcopal Charities, Devin organized the parish and volunteers from the Pleasantville community to build a 600 square-foot raised bed garden at St. John’s this spring. The fresh vegetables they grow together are donated to local food pantries. To date, the Pleasantville Community Garden has given away more than 250 pounds of fresh produce – and counting.
But the good work doesn’t stop at home. Over this past weekend, 10 volunteers from the Pleasantville Community Garden loaded their cars with shovels, rakes, and workgloves, heading over to St. Ann’s Church in Mott Haven, the Bronx. A center of this impoverished neighborhood, St. Ann’s runs a food pantry, a summer Freedom School, and a fantastic afterschool program – all with the support of Episcopal Charities. And their children’s teaching garden was in need of a little extra care. (You can read more about the garden and the work at St. Ann’s in this article by Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman). Pleasantville Community Garden volunteers were ready to lend a hand – and spent their day at St. Ann’s removing a few dozen lawn bags of weeds and debris and prepared the beds for a fall planting. Scroll down to see all our pictures from the day!
We’re delighted and touched to see these two parishes coming together to make a difference for young people in two communities. A big THANK YOU to the volunteers from Pleasantville for your good work and to the St. Ann’s parish for your hospitality.
If you’d like to lend a helping hand at a local Episcopal Charities program, head over to our volunteer page or give us a call at 212-932-7354.