Self-sufficiency, pride and the joy of having a green thumb are just some of the things Hope House Inc. wants the women and children it serves to learn from a new program, Reaping Hope, Executive Director Karen Saltzman said.
"The women will plan the garden, plant the garden and then of course, reap the fruits and vegetables from the garden," she said. "This will be a hands-on learning experience to teach planning and, literally, teach people how to feed themselves using their resources wisely."
Children will also learn about the importance of nutrition, she added.
"We hear so much about our children not being fit, the high rates of obesity and about children having early onset of diabetes," she said.
"This will be a way to teach healthy eating and give them a chance to try vegetables they may not have had before."
Hope House Inc. is one of four organizations that received a total of $74,900 in grants Thursday from Women in Philanthropy for the Central Savannah River Area during a luncheon held at the Augusta Country Club. It's the second year the organization has awarded grants.
Interfaith Hospitality Network of Augusta received the largest grant, $37,900.
The money will go toward the expenses of its children's day shelter, also known as its day care, President Gary Billingsley said.
The shelter provides a stable environment for the children it serves, Executive Director Sarah MacDonald said.
"They come to the same place every day. They do the same routines every day," she said. "It gives them structure in their lives, which is what the children really need."
The grant recipients must serve women or girls and address at least one of three focus areas: health and safety issues, self-sufficiency or family issues.
"There are profound needs in our community. We're funding ways to help meet those needs," said Susan Nicholson, the chair of the grants committee. "The more women that join, the more we can do to have a positive impact on the lives of women and girls in our community."
For more information about Women in Philanthropy for the Central Savannah River Area, see www.wipcsra.org.