volunteering – day 5

I’m back to volunteering and it feels so good.

Saturday I started out my day by heading to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The photo above is one of the many awesome greenhouses on campus. As you know I have my own but it sure doesn’t look like these here!

They have almost an acre of gardens that produce vegetables for FeedMore’sĀ Community Kitchen. This year they hope to produce 10,000 pounds of crop. Last year they only missed the mark by about 80 pounds!

The garden depends heavily on volunteers to help with all tasks from tilling the land to harvesting at the end of the season. I enjoy gardening at my own house so I thought I’d help out.

We spent the morning moving through various tasks. The first thing we did was check squash plants for squash bug eggs. It’s a tedious but necessary task that helps prevent the bugs from killing the plants. To get rid of the eggs, we snapped off any leaves that held the tiny, copper-colored eggs. Pretty easy to do and rewarding.

The next thing we did was plant tomatoes. Many plants are grown from seed but others are often donated like the ones we dealt with. We planted about 30 plants in a very short amount of time. It’s amazing how much you can achieve with a good amount of volunteers!

After planting another 20 or so tomato plants, our last task was to do some weeding in the wheelchair accessible beds. Yet another task that seemed to go quickly. Did I mention that I love weeding? Not normal. šŸ™‚

I really enjoyed the morning – talking to the other volunteers and learning a little from the head gardener all while helping the community. I hope to visit again soon. It’ll be fun to see the results of our work!

Are you volunteering this summer?

volunteering – day 4

Remember how I like to force my family to do art and crafts with me? I talked about it here. Well today I got my sister to join me in a little project!

We used our creativity to help brighten the day of sick and/or injured children. How you ask? By sending them fun cards!
I don’t know about you but I love getting cards. It makes my day, especially with a little personalized note inside.

We had to keep the cards pretty generic so they can be given to anyone but I’m sure the children enjoy them. I even added an ‘in Virginia’ to my signature so they know that the card was sent all the way across the country to them in California.

I broke out all the markers, pencils, and colored paper that I could find. Then we went to town.

my sister stenciling

It was a pretty quick project but fun!

Of course I wish we could go see the kids but a cross country trip isn’t possible. šŸ™‚ I actually looked into volunteering at one of the children’s hospitals here in Richmond but they require a one year commitment which I can’t give since I want to keep volunteering at different places. The good news is, I think there are special events where they need volunteers once in a while. I’ll be looking more into that soon.

the results

If you’d like to give this project a try, here’s the link! Instead of spending Sunday afternoon just staring at the TV why not throw it some coloring while you’re at it? That’s what we did! šŸ™‚

volunteering – day 3

On Saturday my husband and I went back to BARK. The first time I went I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. This time around I was recognized by familiar faces (which was so nice!) and I also already knew what I was supposed to do. Familiarlity = comfort.

There were so many more volunteers this time! I’d say 3 times as many. It was a nice surprise to see so many people wanting to help the dogs and well, last time was super exhausting so more help is awesome!

Lots of people were bringing the dogs from the kennels to the outside runs (so that the kennels could be cleaned) so my husband and I stayed inside to scoop poop and lay new wood chips the whole time. It’s amazing how okay I was with the barking and the craziness this time around. I got my tools and just got to work.

Because of the large amount of people, the chores got done in half the time. I felt like I had barely done any work even though I definitely had!

Since we finished the chores early, we were able to spend more time on the hike and with the dog of our choice. My husband’s favorite dog, Rocky, is actually ‘reserved’ for one of the regular volunteers (which is so great for Rocky but sad for him!) so he decided to take his next favorite, Spot.

cutie rocky

There’s another picture of Rocky in the volunteering – day 1 post. He’s such a looker! Not that I’m attached or anything…

spot & the husband

My pick of the pack was the same beagle from last time, Heidi. She is just too sweet.

heidi

I hung out with her for a bit before AND after the hike. At one point my husband came up to us to say ‘hi’ to Heidi and she did the following:

may I have a belly rub please?

Cue the ‘Awwww’. I bet you can guess where she’s going to end up! Answer: my house.

We discussed adopting or fostering the two of them because well, we just can’t help ourselves. My husband and I are crazy but I don’t care!

The plan. The plan is that we’re going to give Olivia, our first foster, a couple more weeks before we take on any other dogs. We want Olivia to be super comfortable at home since we’re officially going to ADOPT her next Saturday. YAY!! We planned on adopting her the whole time. We just wanted to make sure that she would be happy at our house first before she became a part of the family.

Back to the plan. We agreed that we would only foster and not adopt Heidi and Spot. If we keep adopting dogs then we won’t be able to help nearly as many. Of course we are madly in love with these dogs and know that it’s going to be horribly difficult to give them up if/when the time comes but it’ll be for their happiness and that is the MOST important thing.

I’m pumped and a bit terrified if only because Spot is a BEAST (giant). I bet I’m going to have some entertaining stories soon enough. This house is going to be a zoo!