Givers and Doers

The events in the news these past two weeks remind me of all of the heroes in our communities.  The ones that have been recognized for their specific heroic acts to save others deserve the recognition.  But this is about the everyday heroes who do the mundane work that keeps a community alive, safe, and cared for.

When we left a large city to live in a rural community, it became more evident how individuals make the difference.  The volunteer firemen are on call 24/7 and need to jump in at a moment’s notice.  Their jobs are hampered by rough terrain and low water supplies.

In fact, donations and volunteers are strong backbones for small towns.  The local counties have a high poverty level – about 30% live below that.  Several locally financed organizations have been founded to help meet their needs.  They provide food and clothing.

In addition, many bake sales, BBQ meals, or some other fundraisers reach out to help with specific medical costs, losses from fires, or other tragedies.

Local hunters donate deer meat to an organization that provides groceries for families.  A group of ranchers provide a special deer hunt for wounded warriors.  They bring in soldiers from a nearby base and give them a day to remember.  The list goes on and on.

communitygardenThis post is to acknowledge the fulfilled dream of a few people for a community garden.  The Brownwood Community Garden is a 22,000 sq. ft. garden on a piece of land behind the Salvation Army with public housing on one side.  It has 65 raised beds, each 20 ft. long with their own drip irrigation pipes and a 6,000 gallon rainwater collection system.

There is a shade arbor for an outdoor classroom and socializing, hot and cool composting bins, and a small orchard with fruit trees, pomegranates, and black berries and blueberries.

communitygarden4The Garden’s primary mission is to provide fresh, naturally grown produce to area food pantries to feed the hungry. The Garden also provides space for residents who wish to garden according to natural, chemical-free methods. 

communitygarden5Children and others who have not been exposed to gardening are educated in sustainable gardening practices.  The Boys and Girls Club utilizes the Master Gardeners who teach there.  Finally, the goal is to provide employment and on-the-job training opportunities for low-income workers.

communitygarden3If this doesn’t sound like a massive undertaking, consider the climate conditions involved and the number of volunteers needed.

communitygarden8communitygarden10This might look like a small thing to those who live in cities with resources.  But it’s a big project for smaller communities with stretched budgets.

communitygarden11I salute all those who donate resources, time, and themselves.  It’s what life is all about.

 “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.”  Malcolm Bane

PS.  I really do know that photography should be done before 9 am (or earlier in our harsh sun), but it’s not always possible when you live remote.

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