Out of the Garden Project 2013

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This year’s Honor Card for the Out of the Garden Project was created specifically for them. I am honored each year to have my artwork grace their Honor Cards, given for each $5 donated to their amazing work of providing food for school age children and their families throughout the Triad. You can read here and here about the last two Honor Cards and more about their work in Guilford and Forsyth counties. Like them on Facebook and sign up to receive their emailed newsletter. You will love getting involved in this organization!!

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The director, Don Milholin, contacted me and asked if I would write a piece for their newsletter about this year’s Honor Card image. I was delighted to be asked and it was sent out on Monday of this week. I’m including it here for you to read, in hopes that you will join me in supporting this worthy cause–providing much needed food for children and their families who would not otherwise have it. The Honor Cards are available year round, but make a fabulous gift for teachers, co-workers, and friends on your Christmas List!

Gardening

My husband says that I’m a “planter.”  I like to dig a small hole and place in it a fledgling plant, water it good, and whisper sweetly to it—grow! Then I walk away and return in a few weeks fully expecting the plant to be thriving. He, on the other hand, tends and nurtures the plant day after day. He weeds and waters. He churns up the soil around the plant to allow it to breathe. He is a “gardener.”

This whole beautiful earth is the garden in which we live and move and have our being. Each of us is invited, even called, to tend and nurture this garden of ours. To see to it that it thrives. To not just poke something in the ground and walk away, but to daily encourage its growth and vitality.

This year’s honor card is a very simple depiction of this garden we live in. The children you see in and amongst the corn, tomatoes and sunflowers are every bit the vegetables and flowers that grow here in our earth-garden.  It is an image of children thriving and happy, with their basic needs met, allowing them to frolic and play in the beauty of the garden. It’s an illustrated version of what we want to see as reality for each and every child.

Yet, sadly, this is not reality for all children or their families. We are all aware of hunger’s devastation in countries overseas.  We may not be so aware of the hunger that grows like an aggressive weed right in our own backyard gardens!  I know of no better way to tend and nurture my small earth-garden patch than to participate with the Out of the Garden Project.

When my husband goes out to tend our garden, it doesn’t seem to take too much of his time. A bit of weeding, daily watering, picking off suckers from tomato plants. But it’s an ongoing work, small bits of time tending to the needs of the garden.  And when I join in it with him, the burden of effort is even lighter. That’s the beauty of our task in tending to the hunger issue here in the Triad: many hands make light work! Each of us, as we give to OOTGP, as we volunteer at the warehouse packing bags of food, as we help with the mobile pantries … any way we can donate a small (or big) amount of our resources in time and money will add up to huge growth in the vitality and thriving of the children here in our garden.

Won’t you join me, as I learn to be a gardener and not just a planter! It may not seem like we’re doing much. It may, at times, feel like the hunger weed just won’t be eradicated. But together we can achieve a thriving in the hearts, minds and bodies of children around us by even the smallest of efforts to help the Out of the Garden Project!

I’m grabbing my gardening gloves and spade … see you in the Garden!

Jennifer Edwards

jenniferedwards.com

***Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for one of my recently published books! Info here! Entries close at midnight tonite!

0 thoughts on “Out of the Garden Project 2013

  1. Carole says:

    I agree. A beautiful card, so colorful and creative. It is a shame that anyone in America goes hungry. Food is all around us, everywhere you look. Water, water everywhere … and yet, pantries are opening everywhere to take care of those in need. Thanks to people like you, the world is a better place. Enjoy your holiday!

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