re:fab for a cause! Recently, a few of my coworkers and I were able to do some volunteer work that I really enjoyed, so, I wanted to share it with all of you!
As a leading painting contractor in Massachusetts, we strive to give back to our local communities. Whenever we get a chance, we really enjoy donating our time to organizations in need of some assistance. A few times a year, we love to help out our friends at The Marion Institute, a non-profit that acts as a breeding ground for projects and programs looking to create a large, positive impact. One program in particular that we have recently supported is GROW Education, led by the institute’s coordinator, Zoe Hansen-Dibello.
On a wet Wednesday in April, six of our re:fab teammates carpooled over to the Elizabeth C. Brooks School, an elementary school located in New Bedford. There we met Zoe and her team of other gracious volunteers and professional farmers. The Elizabeth C. Brooks School is one of only two schools in New Bedford that are equipped with built-in, indoor planters… you can find one in each and every single classroom in the school. Teachers had put plywood over them, using them as extra shelving for years. One of the teachers I spoke with said, “I’ve been here for seven years and I’ve never even seen under the plywood.” With the help of GROW Education, it was time for the plywood to be ripped off, and new life to flourish.
We helped shovel out the indoor planters. The completely dehydrated dirt had been there since the 60’s. Clouds of dust arose like a sandstorm. Singing a little “hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go”, we filled wheel barrel after wheel barrel with soil… dispersing the old outside to soak back into the earth, and replacing it with the new inside. After all of the indoor planters were filled with fresh new soil, we brought our efforts outside and filled the garden as we tried to dodge the rain clouds a-brewin’.
Zoe envisions the teachers being able to use their new indoor planters in their curriculums and teach their students about plant life and growth. Her plan is to use the outdoor garden to grow fresh kale, which the school could then use in the lunchroom. If all goes as planned, the money the school would save by growing their vegetables would then go back to other efforts, making the school a better place for the students, teachers, and everyone involved.
We all were so glad to be a part of this, and can’t wait to see the new plant life that will emerge in the months to come! Check back in June for more on this great cause!