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Dear Santa… The difference dirt can make

The difference dirt can make

Dear Santa,

As the weather gets colder and my mind turns from long summer days to cold winter nights, it’s hard to imagine focusing on anything other than Christmas this time of year. But at The Salvation Army, we are continually looking forward to programs and services that will increasingly meet the needs of our community.

So, as hard as it may be to not think about you Santa (as you get your sleigh ready and sip your hot chocolate), I am thinking about vegetables, sunflowers, soil and the joy and the benefits gardening will bring to our area as I help get the Red Shield Community Garden, 724 Park Ave., ready to enter into its sixth season of growth this coming spring.

Community gardens have so many benefits for the community: Food for families, beautification, neighborhood pride, healthy nutrition. The community garden does not only provide food for the gardener but will ultimately also address a root of an issue. Sounds like a lofty goal, doesn’t it?

The Red Shield Community Garden is a program of The Salvation Army with UPMC Susquehanna and the Food Bank of Central PA.

This garden has a vision to provide education, tools and skills to families and seniors so that they are able to improve their situations.

Let’s face it — growing plants feeds people; teaching people how to grow plants provides self-sufficiency and empowers them to make a change for the better. That is why the garden’s vision is summed up in the phrase: “Helping people, teaching people, feeding people.”

Did I mention that the excess produce will be used in our food pantry and at other local food pantry’s too?

So many great organizations and businesses have partnered with us to make this service available to people in Williamsport. And the best part (for me at least) is that you don’t even have to be a natural green thumb — that is why we are having workshops to help teach the participants how to grow their plants. Hope you can join us.

Sincerely,

Helen

— Please help by giving generously to the Salvation Army and the Sun-Gazette Santa Fund. You can help make this a brighter holiday season for local families by making a contribution in person to any branch of M&T Bank or by mail to M&T Bank at 405 River Ave.; at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701. The Santa Fund is a fundraiser organized by the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army.

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