For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -
Several ladies from the Willoughby Garden Club joined together to spread a little sunshine at the Salvation Army of Martin County's Compassion House, a transitional housing shelter for homeless women and women with children.
Led by Garden Club member Loraine Woodall, eight ladies planted useable herbs, tomatoes and bell peppers and flowering plants, including penta, milkweed and fire bush, to start a butterfly garden.
"We are so thrilled that the garden club wanted to plant this garden for us," said Andrea Hoover, corps officer for the Salvation Army of Martin County.
"The herbs and vegetables will be extremely useful, as we currently serve three meals a day to the women and children of Compassion House. Having fresh items right outside our own door will really help to make these meals extra special and will save us some money."
Lt. Hoover added that both the ladies and the children of Compassion House are excited about the community garden.
"The children love to play outside and they are already full of smiles when they see a butterfly," she said. "The women will be taking care of the garden and sharing with their children the importance of fresh, homegrown herbs and vegetables."
Joining Mrs. Woodall in planting the garden were Willoughby Garden Club members: Virginia Salek, Carolyn Markey, Connie Bissenger, Ellen Ramil, Linda Savarese, Aggie Gaydos and Jane Zappulla.
They were assisted by Billy Pickard from Florida Exotic Landscape. Several area nurseries donated plants for the garden.
Richard Spangenberg from Natural Balance donated time and labor to clean and grade the garden area, while Mr. Pickard donated his time and labor during the planting process.
The Salvation Army of Martin County opened Compassion House in late February 2012. The shelter has been operating at near capacity since opening.
Approximately 65 percent have found either part-time or full-time employment and have qualified to stay in the shelter for a longer period, or have entered into some type of permanent living arrangements.
For more information, call (772) 288-1471 or visit www.salvationarmystuart.org.