Showing Thanks to our Volunteers & Community Partners
by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Community Kitchen Garden Horticulturist Laura Schumm just sent the end-of-the-year update on our Community Kitchen Garden benefiting FeedMore. The timing is perfect, because it reminds me of all the wonderful things I am thankful for today on this day of Thanksgiving.
Last week six volunteers from the community signed up to work in the the Garden via HandsonRVA.org. With their help, we harvested the last of the vegetables for this season, a total of 179 lbs. — including 63 lbs. of cabbage, 41 lbs. of broccoli, and 75 lbs of cauliflower. We are hoping these make some nice additions to Thanksgiving meals of those in need. This fresh, locally grown produce will contribute to 716 meals, and brings our total annual harvest this year to 6,379 lbs. of fresh vegetables donated.
The number one thing I’m thankful for today is our volunteers. We would not be a Garden today if it weren’t for volunteers like Mary Mitchell & Betsy Saunders, early supporters of the Garden — before it even existed. And still today the Garden could not exist without volunteers. Right now we have over 500 volunteers who help support the Garden with their love and care. Our army of volunteers do a huge range of things for us — everything from weeding and working in horticulture, to greeting guests, to leading tours of the Garden as Garden Guides, to helping run our Splendor Under Glass fundraising gala, to the “Ginter Geezers” crafting items we need and take on woodworking projects. You’ll find volunteers inside the Butterflies LIVE! exhibit, hanging lights for Dominion GardenFest of Lights, and participating in weekly gardening crews. We have Children’s Garden volunteers who support Green Adventures summer camp, and volunteer photographers. We even have a crew of Youth Volunteers.
And I didn’t even yet mention the scores of volunteers who work in the Community Kitchen Garden through our partnering organizations. Organizations like HandsonRVA, Henrico County Public Schools, Faison School for Autism, Virginia Commonwealth University Service-Learning, Blue Sky Fund, there are so many more it’s hard to list them all! We are incredibly grateful for our corporate volunteer partners too. Staff from CarMax Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, Capital One, Dominion, and MeadWestvaco Foundation have supported the Garden or the Community Kitchen Garden with their volunteer efforts this year.
We are grateful for you and how you help us serve the Richmond community. Thank you!