Volunteers transform area into community garden for vets

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Would you work six hours in the summer sun to build a garden and picnic area?

About a hundred volunteers did Wednesday in Mobile.

They were helping people who put their lives on the line for our freedom.

COMMUNITY GARDEN

About a hundred volunteers fanned out over 6000 square feet of land, hammering, drilling, and digging to create a community garden.

They were building the garden for the residents of Eagle’s Landing, a housing facility run by the Volunteers of America that helps homeless veterans transition into the community.

Steven Dahmer, Eagle’s Landing Program Director, said, “We help them find jobs, go to school.”

And organizers said joining the volunteers to build the garden is therapy for the veterans.

Wallace Davis, the president of Volunteers of America’s local chapter, said, “It creates an environment where they can find peace.”

Dahmer said, “It’s a chance for the community to come in and link with the veterans, which is huge.”

The garden will also provide fruit and vegetables.

A HELPING HAND

University of South Alabama student Dana Dowell was one of the volunteers.

Dowell said, “The community needs it, and not very many people volunteer, but I had some extra time today, so I figured I would come out and help.”

Members of the UMS-Wright Football team also volunteered.

Gordon Stimpson said, “I’m glad to be out here. It’s better than football practice.”

“A BIG BREAK”

Robin Lewis volunteered, too, but he’s of the 22 veterans who live here.

Lewis said, “It’s a big break. I was homeless at one point. They put me in a nice, studio apartment.”

Lewis looked for a home for six months, and tried to overcome problems from his past.

He said, “I stayed at the Waterfront Mission when I first came to Mobile, because I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, and I wanted to change my life around. I had a bad alcohol problem and everything.”

Now, Lewis is studying for his GED and hopes to be an electrician.

He said, “I feel good about my future. I feel positive about it. I feel I’m going to be successful.”

The Fiskars Corporation provided financing for the community garden.

blog comments powered by Disqus