School Closings And Delays

Garden of Giving Receives Care

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CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP -- Many people in one part of the Poconos were out in their communities lending a helping hand all day Thursday as part of the United Way of Monroe County`s annual "Day of Caring."

Volunteers, all dressed in white shirts that read 'Live United,' took a day off from work to give back to their community.

Their mission was to help out the 'Garden of Giving' near Brodheadsville. The garden is a non-profit organization that provides fresh produce and eggs to food banks in Monroe County.

"I had to go visit a food bank myself and I noticed there was very little nutritional value into the produce.  My mom had then fallen very ill with cancer. Just prior to her dying, she had given me the property. Her and my father, and I decided to open a non-profit," said Tammy Graeber, the founder of The Garden of Giving.

Once volunteers arrived at The Garden of Giving, they were immediately put to work. Some were busy converting part of the garden into a playground.  Another group put up chicken wire fencing where the garden's resident chickens live.  Other volunteers spent the morning power-washing donated playground equipment.

For regular volunteers, the extra help is greatly appreciated and a great help.

"In looking around and watching the other projects, it looks like everything is so far ahead of schedule.  I'm wondering what we will do after lunch. That's how great it's been going," said  Jim Mannello.

Thanks to the extra volunteers at The Garden of Giving, all of the volunteer work is needed.  It`s giving the garden a little tender, loving care and the founder says all of this work is needed, especially to help them continue feeding the community.

"These people are like little worker bees. They're out here doing all the little tasks that I can't get to, it's been phenomenal," said Graeber.

The Garden of Giving helps feed 700 families a week. It has more plans to "grow." Next month they're getting blueberry bushes donated.

Next year, they plan to expand The Garden of Giving to provide more for families in need.