Friday, April 19, 2024

Local Rotary Clubs Volunteer Time for Improvements to THRIVE Peninsula

The Market, THRIVE Peninsula

HAMPTON ROADS — Five local rotary clubs are banding together to build self-watering garden boxes and renovate a community room across three volunteer workdays at THRIVE Peninsula’s new facility thanks to a grant from Rotary District 7600.

The five participating Rotary clubs include The Rotary Clubs of Newport News, Oyster Point, Virginia Peninsula, Warwick at City Center and Yorktown.

The garden will be built on the same property as The Market at THRIVE, the Peninsula’s first free food grocery store set to open in November at 12749 Nettles Drive in Newport News. The produce grown will feed The Market, connecting local Peninsula residents with healthy foods.

This is the first time that the Peninsula Rotary clubs have submitted a multi-club project that spans five clubs to result in one project with a big impact, THRIVE Peninsula said.

The clubs were awarded $25,000 from the district and added another $2,500 with each club contributing to fund the project supplies.

Club volunteers will roll up their sleeves to build 24 garden boxes, 10 of which will be self-
watering, set to grow an array of fruit and vegetables.

The Courtyard where the garden beds will be built. (THRIVE Peninsula)

“The services THRIVE provides are essential to our local community so I was thrilled when all 5 Peninsula clubs echoed my enthusiasm for this project from day one,” said Jennifer Daknis, Grants Chair, The Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Rotarians to put Service Above Self in a meaningful and impactful way for the benefit of families facing economic hardships.”

The raised garden will include self-water wicking beds, tower gardens, and berry trellises to
grow an array of fruits and vegetables. The design was specifically made to meet the needs and preferences of THRIVE’s clients and to take advantage of the sun, wind, and rainfall conditions of the space.

The new garden will be immediately visible from the new building’s lobby, which can create a sense of calmness and peace for the building visitors who may be facing financial hardship, according to THRIVE Peninsula.

“This project exemplifies Rotary’s vision which is to see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves” said Angela York, Executive Director. “I love that once the beds are built, they will be replanted each season so that the harvests help fight local hunger for years to come.”

In addition to funding the garden boxes and building them, the grant will help renovate and
furnish THRIVE’s future conference room which will host a variety of workshops and classes to benefit shoppers of The Market.

Classes will be held in collaboration with local community partners and feature topics such as financial management, workforce development, healthy eating and cooking, and other topics to help families grow healthy, financially, and physically.

Members of the five rotary clubs have committed to tackling all the labor involved from building the boxes, to painting the rooms, to assembling furniture, THRIVE Peninsula said, noting in total, between the projected number of visitors to the conference room, and The Market, the project could impact up to 30,000 people per year.

Visit THRIVE Peninsula to learn more about the organization.

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