I’d like to tell you about our Abuela (“grandmother”), one of the most deeply-rooted volunteers in our Earlscourt Community Garden.

Retired and lonely in Canada after a long life working in three different countries, Abuela was thrilled to find a place within our welcoming garden community.

Abuela speaks very little English, but through her time spent among the plants, she’s formed caring friendships with other participants, volunteers, and staff. Despite being well into her 80’s, she shows no signs of slowing down.

“It feels good to have a commitment, a reason to get up early, because I have somewhere to be. I am not a morning person,” she laughs, “but a promise is a promise!”

This spring, we’re asking you to help us keep growing great things for volunteers like Abuela.

Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, The Stop has been able to run our community gardens for over a decade. This has meant thousands of pounds of fresh, organic produce shared with volunteers—not to mention the countless new friendships that’ve grown from our garden plots.

It’s not just our staff who’ve noticed the impact these gardens have on our community. Abuela brings her daughter and grandson to the garden whenever they visit from the United States. Her daughter, who works as a social worker, was moved by the effect that the garden has had in her Mom’s life:

“I notice a big change since she started coming here. The Stop is like family for her. Her emotional and mental state is just so much more positive when she’s been in the garden – she’s so genuinely happy to be here. She has a sense of purpose again.”

This year, we’re so excited to build upon our work in the gardens, and to connect more people like Abuela to good food and great friends. Donations from our supporters are what help us bring together people of all ages, backgrounds, and histories in welcoming spaces like the Earlscourt garden.

Every year, our donors’ generosity helps us reach more isolated seniors, more youth that are eager to reconnect with their cultures’ growing traditions, and with more low-income adults who want to make new friends and learn new skills in our therapeutic gardens.

As the weather begins to warm and we approach this year’s growing season, I hope that we can count on your support. Past gifts from supporters like you have already helped us accomplish so much in our gardens, and across The Stop’s vital food programs.

Your donations will help keep our gardens running for Abuela—and for hundreds of neighbours just like her.

Let’s keep growing great things together.

Donate to The Stop

Rachel Gray
Executive Director
The Stop Community Food Centre