Partnerships are everything. You may think I only say this because we are a small nonprofit, but in truth it is in line with the values and mission of Sparrow’s Nest Play. Building community through experiencing kinship and “membership with one another” is what we are about. This series highlights likeminded organizations we have found to come alongside and do the good work that we do. We are thankful for them and want you to know about their missions and work.
Our Giving Garden was established in 2016 on a parcel of land behind a local church in Mableton, Georgia. A small band of volunteers took on a BIG mission – to interrupt poverty. They do this in a myriad of ways, the most obvious being the cultivating of organic produce and eggs for availability at places like The Sweetwater Mission Food Pantry. To date, they have contributed over 6000 lbs. of produce and 6300 lbs. of fresh eggs. All with a handful of faithful volunteers with really big hearts.
But this garden of hope and healing doesn’t stop there. In the parking lot you’ll find their own Free Food Pantry, Free Food Fridge, and Free Pet Pantry also stocked by volunteers and community members that have not been able to resist the vision Our Giving Garden has cast. If The Garden hears of a need, they rally the community to fill it. From Coat Drives in the winter months to other necessary supplies for families, their mission is to interrupt the need and bring peace into the lives of the community. And they do it well.
I was honored to assist with their event programming this summer by serving as a camp counselor. It was a rich experience with days filled with sunshine and wonder as we connected children to nature in a farm and forest atmosphere. Not only did I see children become part of a community with one another, I saw them become partners with the land itself as they began to know and name what grows and lives there. And, of course, at the slightest cry of distress the farm showed the children that they were members of it as well when Samson the Donkey would let out a loud bray alerting everyone that a child was crying.
Our Giving Garden has an upcoming event that you don’t want to miss on Saturday, September 17th! “Working with Animals Day” is an educational event and fundraiser geared toward children and youth to showcase job and volunteer opportunities with animals. In addition to exposure of the amazing animal residents of the farm, there will be animal professionals and volunteers to lead demonstrations showcasing work in the animal field.