This past spring, a number of our Community Learning Services (CLS) groups began working together on the Seeding Transformation Garden Project at Whispering Rise Farm and Animal Sanctuary. The instructors of these groups have already seen many fruits of their labor with this project and feel that it is seeding the way to healthy living, inclusion, employment opportunities and building relationships.
One beautiful friendship that grew from this Garden Project was with Amanda and Mary. Before joining with the other CLS groups, Amanda was pretty quiet and kept to herself most of the time and Mary just had a difficult time making friends in general.
Working in the garden provided time for the CLS groups to work together and resulted in this unexpected friendship between Amanda and Mary. No one could have imagined that these two ladies with very different personalities, could develop such a strong bond over a short period of time. Abbie Sealover, one of the CLS Instructors, said, “Whenever the CLS groups join each other in the Garden or for another activity, you will find Amanda and Mary together hanging out, talking and enjoying each other’s company.”
This friendship has also sparked a positive change in both women. Amanda has become very outgoing and Mary has made some more new friends. The Garden Project has allowed all the individuals to have more time to connect with each other in a way that they wouldn’t be able to in a more structured environment. By working together and seeing all the benefits of healthy living and eating, everyone has learned so much more than they ever could have imagined.
Like most friends, Amanda and Mary now enjoy eating lunch and shopping together. Mary’s CLS Instructor, Annette Thompson, said that she has never seen Mary connect with anyone else the way she has with Amanda. Amanda made Mary a special gift for her birthday and Mary told Amanda, “You are the best friend I’ve ever had”.
Photo Credits: Abbie Sealover