Every year, volunteers across the country come together to celebrate Arbor Day. Whether it's planting trees or building a garden, Arbor Day is an opportunity for neighbors young and old to make our communities a more beautiful, sustainable place.
To celebrate Arbor Day this year, Food Lion volunteers in Charleston, S.C., partnered with the Chesapeake Health Education Program (CHEP) to build and plant a new garden for veterans living on-site and going through the transitional rehabilitation program.
CHEP is a partner of a program initiated by the Charleston VA Medical Center to secure housing for homeless veterans on the de-activated Charleston Naval base. Before this partnership, the Charleston VA Medical Center had few resources for patients who completed substance abuse recovery inpatient programs. Now, CHEP provides a safe and sober environment to hundreds and veteran residents who are transitioning into an independent lifestyle in the local Charleston community.
For months, CHEP residents desired a garden they could call their own to provide an on-site therapeutic activity, as well as a sustainable resource for food.
Now, residents have two gardens with various herbs, tomatoes, watermelons, cucumber, squash, blueberry and peach trees.
In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the garden will also serve as a reminder of hope and personal growth for CHEP residents for many years to come.