The soil was soft under our shoes, and the community garden was flourishing with zucchini blossoms and fattening ears of corn.
Rows of tomato and pepper plants, the lush leafage of onions and beans and amaranth were growing quietly in the early morning light. All around, you could hear the stirrings of a neighborhood waking up. The playful cries of a child beyond the fence. The low rumble of a car on its way to work. The Lowe’s crew all circled up and sipping coffee with the Habitat team, all of us joking about starting some sort of massage train as the last of our team members arrived.
But it wasn’t long before the hot Arizona sun started sizzling our skin and shining harshly in our eyes. The Literacy Garden was in desperate need of some shade – a respite from the sun, and a place to rest.
That’s where our Lowe’s Heroes came in.
Setting their coffee down and strapping on their hard-hats, the Lowe’s Heroes grabbed their shovels and power tools and divided into two teams. One team tackled the construction of three new community picnic benches, while the other team dove in shovel-first to install beautiful new shade sails.
The Literacy Garden, developed by Habitat for Humanity in partnership with Literacy Connects and the International Rescue Committee, serves over 25 refugee families in the community. The garden is not only a space to grow nourishing food, but serves as a gathering and learning space for refugee families. Community members can learn about nutrition, cooking, becoming micro-producers, and have access to reading and literacy programs.
We’re so thankful to our Lowe’s Heroes for making the Literacy Gardens an even more inviting and safe space for these incredible families! Habitat’s long-term partnership with Lowe’s makes these kinds of projects immediately beneficial to our community, and we’re grateful to share a mission of improving the lives and people in our community and around the world.