Barnard Elementary School houses one of Kid Power's largest (and oldest) school gardens. The school has 10 raised garden beds and a state-of-the-art 400 sq. foot greenhouse! Unfortunately, due to water damage many of the beds are no longer usable. That is where our fantastic group of volunteers from Schiff Hardin came in to help!
Schiff Hardin LLP is a general practice law firm representing clients across the United States and around the world. Committed to keeping strong ties to the communities in which they practice, the firm has designed a program called “All Come Together (A.C.T.).” Each year, the Washington, D.C. office chooses to fundraise for one local charity through “Jeans Day” and with volunteer opportunities.
On Friday, October 13, eight lawyers and staff members went to the school to help Kid Power Inc. build new beds for the Barnard students! These volunteers spent the afternoon deconstructing old beds and rebuilding new, sturdier models. From the moment they arrived, they jumped right into the project, taking the lead on task delegation, problem solving and physical labor. The group of volunteers not only took initiative in the building process, but were eager to learn more about Kid Power's VeggieTime program, asking me and other Kid Power staff about program structure and activities.
It's always exciting to see volunteer groups truly want to understand how their work will make an impact rather than just volunteering for the sake of volunteering. While I'm sure spending time outside of the office was a great change of pace for the volunteers, after a couple of minutes it became clear to me that their primary goal at Barnard was to work hard and get the project done.
Ami Scott, a lawyer at Schiff stated that it was “truly a perfect opportunity and a perfect day.” She followed up with Andria Tobin, Kid Power Executive Director, explaining that on the drive over everyone was eagerly talking in anticipation of the project, but there was silence on the way home because everyone was so exhausted. In extension of their support, the D.C. office and Schiff Hardin are donating $2,530 toward Barnard Elementary School for the VeggieTime program to fund supplies for the rest of the garden beds.
Before winter break, students at Barnard will learn about preparing gardens for wintertime and have the opportunity to plant garlic and onions in the newly constructed beds! Over the next few months, we will continue to rebuild the damaged garden beds at Barnard and are always looking for more enthusiastic volunteers to help (no construction experience necessary)! I expect that the new updated garden will bring even more students into the garden during Kid Power VeggieTime and during the school day!