By Tony Leverett, Director, Eastside Promise Neighborhood
Often we hear “What Can Brown Do for you?” Well, this time it was to build a community garden on the Eastside of San Antonio.
This past Saturday over 25 volunteers from UPS Inside Sales spent their Saturday transforming a dry patch of grass into a raised garden plot on the grounds of Ella Austin Community Center. This service project came about as an addition to the dollars UPS donates to the annual United Way Campaign. While visiting Ella Austin last fall, UPS personnel saw a need, and reached out to Eastside Promise Neighborhood to find out how they could make it happen.
This new, beautiful garden will be tended and harvested by the seniors of Ella Austin in the Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) footprint. The work was done so that the seniors would be able to plant tomato plants, jalapeno peppers, cilantro and onions as well as other produce. The installation of this garden bed means more then a place to get their hands dirty; it serves to beautify an area needing a make over, and provides space for our seniors to be active. And when the harvest comes, think of the healthy meals that can be consumed with all the fresh produce!
That patch of grass would not have been transformed into a garden for the seniors without the participation of San Antonio UPS Insides Sales team and Robert Mora. On that early Saturday morning, there was laughter in the air, with several volunteers sharing stories and remembering meals that came from their own parents’ gardens. Some also shared how they or family members attended Ella Austin or community centers like it in years past, and the roll it played in providing opportunities in their lives.
The work that took place made an impact that extends far beyond a few hours on a Saturday. It was about kindness in the hearts of people who had a since of giving back and remembering how important it is to pay it forward. I like to say that those UPS Volunteers got “MAD”—Making A Difference—for the seniors and Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN).