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Avalon Center Starting Garden To Grow New Beginnings

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Avalon Center Starting Garden To Grow New Beginnings

The Avalon Center Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program is looking for donations to help provide its clients with a garden.

Sexual Assault Advocate Stage Ward said victims at the shelter will be able to plant fruits and vegetables to harvest for meal preparation. She said when someone is traumatized by abuse, they lose something. This garden will provide victims the opportunity to cultivate and grow something new.

“They’ll be able to use everything that we’re making out there, that we’re growing out there to do their cooking and to hopefully learn how to live a little more sustainably when they become independent after they’ve, you know, left this abusive situation,” Ward said.

Ward said the shelter also plans to add chickens to provide clients with fresh eggs. She said gardening tools and seeds are among the most important items she hopes to see donated.

“Not just for our residents, but for our shelter staff too, they can experience a lot of secondary and vicarious trauma through their clients,” Ward said. “You know, you get really attached to those people in our shelter, and so I think this would just be something very peaceful to be able to do together for them.”

Ward said the shelter burned down in February of 2023, and upon being rebuilt in November, this was one of the first ideas for expanding the programs the shelter provides. She said gardening can also teach many of the residents healthier eating habits and how to build a new life for themselves after suffering through a traumatic relationship.

“Everything that we do, truly, is usually based off of donations,” Ward said. “There’s grant funding, but we rely a lot on donations within the community, so we have taken to social media because anything that we have donated to us goes directly to our ladies and the men in our shelter, and the children.”

Residents have already started hoeing the soil to start the garden that Ward said she hopes can serve as “an oasis of peace.”


The post Avalon Center Starting Garden To Grow New Beginnings appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.