A monumental volunteer effort has transformed a vacant lot behind The Salvation Army into the Red Shield Community Garden. Already this summer volunteers have harvested corn, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, squash and tomatoes, all of which has been used in our soup kitchen or shared with our emergency assistance clients.
The garden was the vision of Volunteer Coordinator, Yvonne Yates. “We have so many people who want to serve here and it seemed we were constantly using them to clean up this vacant lot,” said Yvonne. “We thought it would be better to put them to work creating something beautiful and productive.”
Since the groundbreaking in March, hundreds of volunteers from a variety of places have been involved, including the WOW Team from St. John’s Lutheran, Cornerstone Church with Knoxville’s Operation Inasmuch and a group from Breakthrough, a local organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults with autism.
Beyond beautifying the space and producing a harvest, one of the best things about the garden is the sense of community that it has helped foster. “On any given day we’ll have homeless volunteers or community service volunteers working alongside church groups or some of our major donors,” said Yvonne. “When these diverse groups of people are working together, it helps them understand one another and creates a real sense of community.”
The symbolism of the project is not lost on Major Don Vick. “We’ve taken something that most people in the community would have considered unattractive and even useless but, with a little work, made it into something beautiful and productive again. It’s what we do in the lives of hundreds of men and women every year.”
For more information on the Community Garden, scan the code with your smart phone, stop by our KnoxRedShield facebook page or visit http://www.SalvationArmyKnoxville.org.
Without the hard work, dedication and donations from those listed below, our community garden would not be the success that it is.
ETCDC Kristi Lynch Ron Duncan
Charles McRae Frank Callo Impromptu
Ellenburg Landscaping & Nursery Champion Day Lilies Mayo Garden Center
Gamma Sigma Sigma Delta Sigma Theta Kappa Alpha Phi
Knox Catholic H.S. Webb School CAK