Girl Scout Cadette Mary of Troop 1445 recently earned the Girl Scout Silver Award for completing a service project at Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Virginia. Mary renewed and beautified the church’s community vegetable garden with the purpose of supplying fresh herbs and vegetables to families served by the Williamsburg House of Mercy.
The garden was constructed pre-pandemic by another Girl Scout, Megan Gillespie, who went on to college, but the space had grown over with limited maintenance during the pandemic. Mary took action to refresh the space with the help of over 20 community volunteers who worked in shifts throughout the growing season to ensure plants were watered and harvested.
“I decided that the garden needed a ‘jumpstart,’ so I asked Megan and her parents, who were the leaders of the Garden Ministry at church, if I could take over the care of the garden and help them create a new ministry: a garden ministry. With their support, I recruited 20 volunteers from my church, and we set off to clean up the space, amend the soil, plant the vegetables, and harvest and distribute the food grown to the Williamsburg House of Mercy, a non-profit organization that serves families in the community.”
Thanks to an in-kind donation of soil, gravel, and delivery from Yardworks in Williamsburg, the ministry was able to put additional funding towards the construction of new wooden garden beds.
By the end of the growing season, the Garden for Giving provided over 136 pounds of vegetables for the Williamsburg House of Mercy including cucumbers, peppers, basil, and a variety of tomatoes. This project will continue to be maintained by parishioners, including Mary, for the foreseeable future.
“I learned some very important lessons from this project,” Mary said. “The first was that community outreach is important and can make a difference to those in need. I also learned the importance of supporting one’s parish through service. Last, I learned that helping a fellow Girl Scout continue her legacy by supporting and continuing a project that was very dear to her heart fulfills the Girl Scout Promise and Law. By partnering with Megan, I was able to help her continue to serve in our community, in her absence.”
Girl Scout Jasmine held an event and wrote a children’s book about recycling.
Girl Scout Naomi collected supply donations for Princess Anne Middle School.