On Thursday, March 27th, 2014 THC volunteers and staff gathered to celebrate and prepare for our garden programs at Webster Gardens and Fort View. We talked about the current state of family homelessness in Washington, DC and the impact that homelessness can have on the physical and mental health of young people. Our garden program is designed to reach the children of THC families to mitigate the trauma they may have experienced during homelessness, promote healthy living and to teach life lessons through gardening. Check out the Prezi below to see the presentation used at this event:
Volunteers will serve in a variety of capacities to help our gardens grow. Maintainance volunteers will help weed and water in their free time to ensure successful harvests. Workshop facilitators will use their expertise in a variety of fields to run workshops on science, nutrition and hunger issues for the youth in our programs. And support volunteers will help youth participants in their learning process.
Resident Services staff run these gardens as part of their overall mission to promote health and wellness as well as youth enrichment. Their goals for this year are to:
- Communicate the importance of taking care of oneself and others
- Promote teamwork and leadership skills among youth
- Teach youth the importance of sharing with others
- Educate the youth on key environmental and nutritional concepts.
THC’s gardens are thoughtfully used to promote not only skills and knowledge relating to gardening, but to teach life lessons. Resident Services Coordinator, Nkem Offor, spoke last night to this concept “When we were planting seeds the kids took ownership of particular seedlings. They carefully chose which plant they would like to grow, and were responsible for watering and caring for that seed. As time passed we discovered that some seeds were more successful than others, despite the hard work of the youth trying to help them grow. We used this as an anecdote to teach them that– even though you might try and try, your efforts still might not produce fruit, that doesn’t mean you should give up, it just means you might need to try a different plant or find a sunnier spot for you seed.”
We are looking forward to any exciting and growth filled garden season! To learn more about how you can get involved, check out our volunteer opportunities and contact Volunteer Manager, Kate Stritzinger at [email protected]