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Boys Town Youth and Volunteers Spend a Day Planting Seeds of Hope

Planting Seeds of Hope

The poet Alfred Austin once said, "The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."

This sentiment was on full display during the 13th annual Boys Town Washington DC's "Planting Seeds of Hope" event, which took place June 1 on the site's eight-acre campus.   

"It was great to see our kids work alongside our board members, donors and corporate sponsors and build connections with each other," said Wesley Tomlinson, Development Coordinator for Boys Town Washington DC. "The kids are able to use the skills they learned at Boys Town in a unique way with new people, while also joking around with and learning about one another."

Volunteers joined youth and staff to help plant, hoe gardens, and landscape and beautify the campus grounds. They also planted flowers around each of the five Family Homes.

The volunteers and kids started off the day by taking a group picture. Then they broke into teams. One group went to plant the tomato garden. Another went to till the main garden and plant seeds and other starter vegetables. The third group went to the herb boxes and tilled and planted herbs. After that, the groups put mulch down, did some weeding and planted flowers.

"We are lucky to have a great partner, the Ritz Carlton, and they donate all the fruits, vegetables and flowers we plant on campus," said Tomlinson. "Also, we were excited this year to have some of our other corporate sponsors attend the event and participate, including MCN Build, Turner Construction and Marriott."

The volunteers from those companies worked side-by-side with the kids from the Family Home Program and some families served through Care Coordination Services.

The day wrapped up with a barbeque for all those who participated.   

"It's neat to see the kids learning about gardening and planting from people who really enjoy those activities," Tomlinson said. "Most kids have never planted before, and it's amazing to see their reactions when they go out later at harvest time with their Family-Teachers® and see the results of their efforts."

And the volunteers enjoyed the day, too. "They loved teaching the kids about planting and gardening," Tomlinson said. "Many of them are really invested and asked us to send pictures so they could see the progress of the garden unfold."