I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – most gardeners are born to be givers and nurturers. That’s why giving to garden nonprofits and charities comes naturally. Donating to garden causes, be it on #givingtuesday or any day of the year, is easy to do and the fulfillment you receive from this act of kindness lasts a lifetime.
What Garden Charities are Out There?
While there’s far too many to name individually, you can normally visit your local extension office or nearest botanical garden to find information on local garden nonprofits. A quick Google search online will also provide numerous garden charities and causes that are out there. With so many to choose from, where do you start?
It’s overwhelming, I know. That said, many gardening associations and organizations are well known, and those can be great places to start. Look for something that speaks to you personally, be it feeding the hungry, educating children, creating new gardens, or working towards making our world a healthier, more sustainable place in which to live.
How to Help Gardening Causes
Community gardens, school gardens, and orchards can provide delicious, fresh produce to food banks and food pantries, but so can you. Even if you’re not already involved with a community or school garden, you can still donate your own homegrown fruits and veggies to your local food bank. You don’t even need to have a large garden either.
Did you know that around 80% of gardeners actually grow more produce than is really needed? I’ve been guilty of this myself with some years having so many tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash than I knew what to do with. Sound familiar?
Instead of all this healthy food going to waste, generous gardeners can simply donate it to families in need. Were you aware that people in your own neighborhood may, in fact, be considered food insecure? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), during 2018 alone, at least 37.2 million U.S. households, many with young children, were food insecure at some time during the year.
No one should ever have to worry about when or where their next meal will come from. You can help. Got a bountiful harvest? If you’re not sure where to take your surplus harvest, you visit AmpleHarvest.org online to find your nearest food pantry to donate to.
You can also offer monetary support, as Gardening Know How does with its community or school sponsorship program, which helps provide these gardens with what they need to successfully grow and thrive. American Community Garden Association (AGCA) is another great place that helps support community gardens across the country.
Kids are our future and cultivating their minds in the garden is one of the most wonderful gifts you could ever give them. Many organizations, such as Kids Gardening, create educational opportunities for children to play, learn, and grow through gardening.
Your local 4-H program is another gardening cause you can donate to. My daughter loved participating in 4-H when she was young. This youth development program teaches valuable skills in citizenship, technology, and healthy living with numerous programs available to prepare kids for careers in agriculture.
When it’s close to your heart, donating to garden causes, or any cause for that matter, will bring a lifetime of happiness both to you and the ones you’re helping.